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&AR :S 3 


















Rt. Rev. Monsignor John Walsh 

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Nihil obstat 

Francis E. Klauder, C. SS. R. 



4- Thomas M. A. Burke, 

Bishop of Albany. 

Die 1, Jan. 1908. 

37-*' '£ 


• • % 

« 4 < I 



Rt. Rev. Thomas Martin Aloysius Burke, D. D. 

Bishop of Albany, N. Y., 

This Volume 

is dedicated as a token of 

reverence and affection for the man, the priest, 

and the bishop whose qualities of mind 

and heart make him the ideal 

shepherd of his flock. 



Rt. Rev. Bishop Burke's Letter . 9 

Author's Preface 11 

Cardinal Newman's Summary of 

the Mass 17 


I Liturgy in General 21 

II Language of the Liturgy ... 31 

III Different Kinds of Liturgies . . 34 

IV Roman Liturgic Books ... 42 
V Liturgic Places 48 

VI The Liturgy of the Mass ... 61 

VII Sacrifice in General and the Sacri- 
fices of the Old Law .... 85 

VIII The Mass the Sacrifice of the 

New Law 94 

IX The Mass 123 

X Efficacy and Fruits of the Mass . 156 

XI Sacrifice of Impetration for favors 

Spiritual and Temporal . . . 175 

XII Sacrifice of Propitiation or Sin- 

Offering . . . . 178 

Contents — Continued 


XIII Infallibility or Certainty of the 

Fruits of the Mass .... 185 

XIV Infallibility of the Fruits of Pro- 

pitiation 188 

XV The Application of the Fruits of 

the Mass 193 

XVI The Oblata or Offerings for 

Masses 205 

XVII Where Mass May be Celebrated 233 

XVIII Number of Masses to be said 

daily 239 

XIX Time of Celebrating Mass . . 247 

XX The Structure of the Mass . . 259 

XXI The Requisites of the Mass, Altar, 

Tabernacle 306 

XXII Privileged Altar ...... 333 

XXIII Altar Cloths, Antependium, Cere- 

Cloth, Vesperal 345 

XXIV The Chalice and Paten ... 352 

XXV Ciborium, Pyx, Ostensorium, 

Lunula, Custodia 368 

XXVI Reservation of the Sacred Host . 375 

XXVII Corporal, Pall, Purificator ... 378 

XXVIII Burse, Veil, Finger Towel, Bell, 

Gong, Osculatory, Thurible . 384 


Contents— Continued 


XXIX The Crucifix 389 

XXX Missal, Missal-Stand, Altar Cards 398 

XXXI Candles 406 

XXXII Bread and Wine 413 

XXXIII The Stations 421 

XXXIV Sacred Vestments in General . 424 
XXXV The Amice 432 

XXXVI The Cincture 436 

XXXVII The Alb 439 

XXXVIII The Maniple ....... 447 

XXXIX The Stole 453 

XL The Chasuble 464 

XLI Color of Vestments 479 

XLII Supplementary Vestments, Papal, 
Cardinalitial, Archiepiscopal, 
Episcopal, Sacerdotal, Diaconal, 

Subdiaconal 484 

Appendix 521 

Index 533 


M" any excellent works have been written both 
in Latin and in the vernacular explanatory 
—J of the Liturgy and the ceremonies of the 
Church. These works have each its own pecu- 
liar merit. As, however, the rubrics and the 
ceremonies of the Church are an inexhaustible 
subject, this new work, "The Mass and Vest- 
ments of the Catholic Church," by Rt. Rev. 
Monsignor John Walsh, will not fail to prove 
interesting to the Rev. clergy and edifying and 
instructive to the Catholic laity. 

Many of our non-Catholic brethren, who not 
infrequently assist at the celebration of the more 
solemn feasts of the Church are deeply impressed 
with the beautiful ceremonial, and they are 
sincerely desirous of knowing the signification 
and meaning of the sacred rites. Hence they seek 
information from their Catholic friends. The 
work of Monsignor Walsh which is written in a 
clear and lucid style, will enable the Catholic 
readers to answer all the questions of their non- 
Catholic friends intelligently and satisfactorily. 

Monsignor Walsh in his work treats of the 
history of the Liturgy and of the dogmatic and 

symbolic signification of the ceremonies of the 
Church. In his work he has embodied all the 
recent decisions of the Sacred Congregation of 
Rites, hence the work will be a valuable aid to the 
Rev. clergy in preparing their instructions on the 
rubrics, and it cannot fail to be deeply interesting, 
nstructing and edifying to the faithful. 
Albany, July 29th, 1908. 


Bishop of Albany. 



ometime ago a convert asked me to recommend 
a convenient handbook on the Mass and 
Vestments, which would aid her in gleaning 
information to give response to the various ques- 
tions proposed to her by non-Catholic associates. 
The remark was made, that this topic was more 
and more occupying the attention of non-Catholics 
who, interested in its many ceremonial and ritual- 
istic phases, sought to be informed as to the signi- 
ficancy and names of all the details surrounding 
this supreme act of Catholic worship. 

This request for a Manual of the Mass and 
Vestments was the inspiration of this volume. 
When the ground was surveyed for the purpose 
of answering the question, the author was sur- 
prised to find how meagre and unsatisfactory was 
the available material. The best authors are still 
concealed, for popular uses, in the Latin and French 
tongues. The English books of Devine, Rock and 
Gihr are either too voluminous for the average 
taste, which seeks condensation and rapid research, 
or only deal with special attributes of the subject — 
prominently its mystic and devotional aspect. 
"O'Brien, On the Mass," for many years deservedly 
held a supreme practical place, but in many respects 
it has grown obsolete, and in some incorrect. In 


saying so much, there is no wish to detract from 
the author's industry and research, nor to deny 
him all praise as the pioneer in a new field, so far 
as these labors were presented to American 
readers in an English dress. 

The sincerity of this recognition of his average 
acceptableness is reflected in the frequent refer- 
ences to his painstaking work running through 
this volume. 

The present effort is an attempt to meet the 
demand of the hurried laity, and even of the busy 
clergy, who may wish to refresh the knowledge 
once imbibed from more authoritative sources, no 
longer accessible. 

For many years the author has been awaiting 
a treatise on this subject, which would supply 
various omissions, and afford a complete exposition 
of its different phases. For example, the state- 
ment has been always made that the Mass is a 
true sacrifice, and yet there has been lacking a 
special chapter on sacrifice and its essential traits, 
to demonstrate the truth and reasonableness of 
the Catholic contention. There has also been 
wanting a detailed analysis of the fruits and 
efficacy of the Mass, a subject of paramount 
interest surely for all Catholics. The subject was 
either ignored, or dealt with under cover of broad 
generalities by the majority of professed theo- 
logians. The complexity of the subject perhaps 
was the bar to a close grapple with it. Under the 


guidance of His Grace, the present Archbishop of 
Dublin, and those commanding figures in theologi- 
cal science — De Lugo, Suarez and Vasquez — an 
attempt has been made to unravel its tangled web, 
and although no labor has been slighted to 
simplify it and make it intelligible, the author 
freely acknowledges its transparency is not what 
he would desire, nor has it yet been adjusted to 
the level of the average reader. An honest effort, 
however, has been made, without shirking any of 
its difficulties to solve it, and if failure is to be the 
verdict, the sentence should not fall on the inten- 
tion, but on its execution. 

The section devoted to the Vestments may 
awaken interest and reflection, even though it 
may not win approval. The more popular and 
facile procedure has been to trace the Christian 
liturgic garments to a Hebrew ancestry, following 
the leadership of its first expositor, Rabanus 
Maurus. With a few exceptions, the truer method 
seems to be to ascribe them to a classic origin — 
the primitive types being the everyday dress of 
the Roman and Greek citizen. Starting with this 
principle, the older forms are described, authorities 
cited, probabilities weighed, newer developments 
and transformations recorded, and a note made of 
the Papal and conciliar decrees which fixed their 
status as ecclesiastical vesture. 

The hope is entertained that the chapter on 
Liturgy and the various forms it assumes may not 


be considered academic, as if the exclusive pre- 
serve of only professional liturgists. In all 
questions pertaining to the structure of the Mass 
it lies at the root of their solving. To many it is 
a matter of surprise to learn that the Mass is not 
always offered under a uniform formula or rite. 
Not only do East and West differ from each other, 
both also present peculiar and distinct varieties of 
the same solemn function within their respective 
boundaries. Whilst this is true of the contem- 
porary East and West, the number of such 
formulae has been reduced to a minimum in the 
Western Church, where the dominion of Rome has 
been exerted in the direction of every attainable 
uniformity. The result of this supervision has been 
the elimination of the great Gallic rite under King 
Pepin, and of others, either for their total extinc- 
tion or limitation during the years coincident 
with, and subsequent to the Council of Trent. 

This subject of Liturgy, including origin, sphere 
of influence and specific kinds, is interesting for 
the reason that it is a theme of only comparatively 
modern research. Prior to the sixteenth century, 
when the Liturgies of SS. Basil, Chrysostom, 
James and Mark, and others of Eastern ancestry 
were first printed, the data were wanting for 
even a restricted investigation and comparison. 

The first to illumine the Greek Liturgies was 
Goar in his treatise on the Euchologium published 
in the middle of the seventeenth century. In the 


preceding century, Pamelius edited the Liturgy of 
Pope Gregory the Great, with notes by Menard. 
Then followed Thomasius with the Sacramentary 
of Pope Gelasius, and Gavanti, Bona, Le Brun, 
Martene and Muratori who discoursed on the 
Roman Liturgy. Toward the close of the seven- 
teenth century, Bona, Thomasius and Mabillon 
rescued the Gallican Liturgy, long since obsolete 
and unused, from oblivion. In the eighteenth 
century the Roman Sacramentary of Pope Leo the 
Great was discovered. In the early part of the 
eighteenth, Renaudot revealed valuable informa- 
tion of the Liturgies of Alexandria and Antioch, 
hitherto almost entirely unknown. 

Thus it was not until the eighteenth century 
that liturgic material was supplied in such 
abundance as to enable the student of Liturgies 
to form a comprehensive and intelligent view of 
his subject. 

By travel, observation, research and an indus- 
trious comparison of authorities when their dicta 
varied, the author's ambition has been to attain the 
goal of accuracy. There is no need to remind him 
that this claim to accuracy is only relative. In a 
field so extensive and prolific in data, absolute exact- 
ness would be the highest and rarest achievement. 

For the catechetical form in which the book is 
cast he has no apologies to offer. Some candid 
critics advised another form akin to the average 
book. Were he seeking an easy task he would 


have followed the exemplars of his predecessors. 
Oftentimes the construction and differentiations 
of questions cost him more thought and labor than 
their answers. Whilst the answers were sometimes 
familiar and always accessible, the questionnaire 
was a new venture which demanded constant dis- 
crimination to bring forth the desired information. 

With perhaps too sanguine expectancy, he was 
persuaded to the adoption of the question form 
by, first of all, the hope the book might some day 
be honored with acceptance as a class book for 
advanced pupils in our Catholic schools, and 
secondly, with the purpose of giving definiteness 
and precision to its contents. 

A book of solid text for the ordinary reader is 
a pathless jungle. The book whose page is broken 
into paragraphs is like the forest path with its 
trees blazed into well-defined trails. The book 
intersected with question and answer is the open 
country and the sure highway where the traveller 
may always get his bearings. 

For purposes of verification by reference and 
more extensive reading, a bibliography is appended 
to many of the chapters which may serve to 
widen the reader's acquaintance with specialists, 
who have dealt more extensively with the topics 
under survey. 

St. Peter's Rectory, 

Feast of All Saints, 




T~7|o me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so 
thrilling, so overcoming as the Mass said as 
*— » it is among us. I could attend Masses for- 
ever and not be tired. It is not a mere form of 
words,— it is a great action, the greatest action 
that can be on earth. It is not the invocation 
merely, but if I dare use the word, the evocation 
of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar 
in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and 
devils tremble. This is that awful event which is 
the scope and the interpretation of every part of 
the solemnity. Words are necessary, but as means 
not as ends; they are not mere addresses to the 
throne of grace, they are the instruments of what 
is far higher, of consecration, of sacrifice. They 
hurry on as if impatient to fulfill their mission. 
Quickly they go, the whole is quick; for they are 
all parts of one integral action. Quickly they go; 
for they are awful words of sacrifice, they are a 
work too great to delay upon; as when it was said 
in the beginning: "What thou doest, do quickly." 
Quickly they pass; for the Lord Jesus goes with 
them as He passed along the lake in the days of 
His flesh, quickly calling first one and then 
another. Quickly they pass; because as the light- 


ning which shineth from one part of the heaven 
unto the other, so is the coming of the Son of 
Man. Quickly they pass; for they are as the 
wort's of Moses when the Lord came down in the 
cloud, calling on the name of the Lord as He 
passed by "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and 
gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness 
and truth." And as Moses on the mountain, so 
we too "make haste and bow our heads to the 
earth and adore." So we all around, each in his 
place look out for the great Advent, "waiting for 
the moving of the water." Each in his place, 
with his own heart, with his own wants, with his 
own thoughts, with his own intentions, with his 
own prayers, separate but concordant, watching 
what is going on, watching its progress, uniting 
in its consummation; not painfully and hope- 
lessly following a hard form of prayer from 
beginning to end, but like a concert of musical 
instruments, each different but concurring in a 
sweet harmony, we take our part with God's 
priest supporting him yet guided by him. There 
are little children there and old men and simple 
laborers and students in seminaries, priests pre- 
paring for Mass, priests making their thanks- 
giving; there are innocent maidens and there are 
penitent sinners; but out of these many minds 
rises one Eucharistic hymn, and the great Action 
is the measure and the scope of it." 

Cardinal Newman. 




What is the meaning of the word Liturgy? 

It is derived from two Greek words and signi- 
fies a public ministry or work. 

What is its ecclesiastical significancy? 

It is the harmony and uniformity of the cere- 
monies and rites regulating and defining public 

What is understood by vublic worship? 

The honor and praise given to God in the name 
and by the authority of the Church. 

Is all religious worship publicly offered a 
part of public worship? 

No. It is necessary to distinguish between 
religious acts performed by the faithful under the 
individual impulse of pious inspirations, and the 
individual, or collective acts prescribed by the 
Church and done in her name. The former are 
acts of private devotion or worship; the latter 
only of public worship that appertain to Liturgy. 

Is not this interior private worship of God 
sufficient for Christians? 

Although modern error maintains its compe- 
tency, it is neither sufficient for the individual 

22 The Mass and Vestments 

nor God. The individual instinct craves exterior 
worship, and the sum of worship due God is 
obtained only by public worship. 

What are the motives of this necessity oj 
public worship? 

(a) Human nature demands it. We are not 
like the angels, pure spirits. We are both body 
and soul. This duality is the work of God. The 
two should honor God; the soul by interior wor- 
ship, and the body united to the soul by exterior, 
public worship. 

(b) There is an irresistible instinct to show 
forth by exterior signs that which our soul feels 
and approves interiorly. This is true of joy, fear, 
suffering, etc. It is also true of religious senti- 
ments. Hence the Psalmist says, "My heart and 
my flesh have trembled in the presence of the 
living God." 

(c ) Sensible objects and instruments are often 
necessary to quicken the sentiments and energy 
of the soul. Thus, exterior devotions contribute 
efficiently to excite to the worship of God and the 
performance of our religious duties. A neglect of 
them results in laxity and indifference. 

(d) Those who refuse to pay public homage to 
God are not consistent. When they honor human 
celebrities they are not content with mere ad- 
miration inwardly expressed, but sound their 
praises and glorify them by word in literature, 

Liturgy in General 23 

sculpture and the pomp of worldly fetes. If 
creatures are thus fittingly honored, why should 
we be restrained from the completeness of God's 
homage by public and external worship? 

Is not then private, exterior worship suf- 

It is not, for the reason, that the individual is 
neither isolated, nor is he absorbed in the com- 
monwealth. He is also a member of a divinely 
constituted society called the Church, and as such 
is bound to render God a social and public service. 
This united homage becomes a bond of unity and 
Christian comradeship between the faithful, and a 
source of mutual edification. 

What are the advantages of this Liturgy? 

They pertain to: 

1. Individuals. 

2. Society. 

3. Theology. 

4. The Arts. 

How does the Liturgy affect individuals? 

It imprints the seal of nobility on the body 
through the sacraments; it illumines the soul by a 
presentation of the principal mysteries under an 
embodiment of external forms, and thus becomes 
a universal and popular instruction accessible to 
all men, whether uneducated or educated; it in- 
spires the heart by the ineffable unction of the 
liturgic text, and the chant and ceremonies. 

24 The Mass and Vestments 

How does it react on society? 

It is a bond of fraternal union between men, 
convening them in the same religious assemblies, 
and uniting them, by the mutual proffer of prayers 
and suffrages, as becoming the children of the 
same heavenly Father and the brethren of Christ. 

What is the relation of Liturgy to Theology? 

The Church has uniformly taught through her 
doctors and theologians that the Roman Liturgy 
is the pure expression of her doctrine. For 
example, Pope Celestine appealed to the Liturgy 
as an unanswerable refutation of the error of the 
Pelagians, denying the necessity of divine grace, 
and said: "The standard of prayer determines the 
standard of belief." 

St. Augustine also proved the same theme by 

"The Church does not need to recur to long 
discussions; what we believe is found in our daily 
prayers." Leo XIII expresses the same thought 
in his Encyclical to the Oriental bishops. Whilst 
therefore Liturgy cannot supplant Theology, it 
should be considered a locus theologicus, or a 
source from which theologians may draw proofs 
in favor of the verity of the truths which belong 
to Catholic faith. 

What bearing has Liturgy on the Arts? 
It has encouraged and developed them, because 
the Church, through her Liturgy, has employed 

Liturgy in General 25 

the choicest products of nature and human taste 
and industry, and appealed to the many-sided 
genius of men. 

Give definite instances of this encourage- 

In architecture, by the number, splendor, variety 
and costliness of the churches. In sculpture, paint- 
ing, printing, plain chant, music, carving, mosaics, 
rich fabrics and in the handiwork of the gold- 
workers and bell-makers the influence of the 
Liturgy has been potent and inspiring, because, on 
altar, window, sidewall, sacristy, baptistry and 
tower, the Church has a place for their master- 

What is the origin of the Liturgy? 

It has a Christian origin in its Christian adap- 
tation, and as an element of universal worship, it 
began when men developed and systematized their 
practice of public worship. 

Does it not owe something to Judaism? 

It is indebted to Judaism for the form of its 
primitive assemblies and the formula of its 
prayers in the sacred books of the Old Testament, 
such as the psalms, canticles and prophecies. 

How does it differ from the Jewish Liturgy? 

(a) By the disavowal and rejection of circum- 
cision which is fundamental to Judaism. 

26 The Mass and Vestments 

(b) By the institution of Baptism and Holy 
Orders, wherein by the imposition of hands the 
Holy Spirit is imparted. 

( c ) By the creation of the Mass or Eucharistic 
Sacrifice which is the nucleus and centre of all 

id) By the appointment of special Christian 
feasts which supersede the Jewish feasts, and by 
the substitution of Churches and, in the begin- 
ning, private houses where the first Christians met 
for prayer, exhortation and the breaking of bread, 
for the Temple of Jerusalem which was the 
centre of Jewish worship. 

Did not the early Church adopt some ele- 
ments of the Liturgy from the pagans'? 

There are some ceremonies in the Liturgy 
whose outlines may be discerned among pagans. 
Pagan temples were rarely converted into Christian 
churches, and pagan feasts transformed into 
Christian feasts. By the adoption and consecra- 
tion of these pagan rites to the service of the 
true God they were shorn of their pagan signifi- 

Liturgy was defined "as the harmony and 
uniformity of ceremonies and rites regulating 
and defining public worship^ What is cere- 

Ceremony is the visible and external action 
of worship fixed and determined to secure^ uni- 

Liturgy in General 27 

formity. It includes both the essentials and 
accidentals of that action. 

What is a Rite? 

Rite, from the Latin recte, an act performed 
according to rule, has various significations. 
Sometimes it is synonomous with Liturgy as, for 
example, a Roman rite is the same as Roman 
Liturgy. Again, it designates a particular cere- 
mony, as the rite of the blessing of water. More 
commonly it signifies the manner according to 
which a ceremony is to be performed. 

What is the meaning of Rubrics? 

The rules which govern the exterior action of 
public worship, as for example, the time, place and 
manner of observing the rites and ceremonies 
appointed by ecclesiastical authority. 

How is the ivord derived? 

From the Latin rubrica, a red earth or chalk, 
with which the ancient Romans wrote the titles 
of their laws on the monuments. From the title 
the name Rubric was applied to the law itself. 
Later the Church wrote her liturgic laws also in 

Where are these Rubrics found? 

In the liturgic books which include, with the 
ministries of worship, the rules according to which 
the sacred functions must be performed. 

28 The Mass and Vestments 

How are Rubrics divided? 

1. Essential and accidental. 

2. Preceptive and directive. 

What are essential Rubrics? 

They are those without which the sacred func- 
tion is non-existent or invalid, as, for example, the 
rubrics which prescribe the consecration in the 

What are accidental Rubrics? 

Those without which the sacred function will 
exist, as, for instance, the rubrics which prescribe 
inclinations and the sign of the cross. 

What are preceptive Rubrics? 

Those which oblige under the penalty of mortal 
or venial sin, as the thing enjoined is grave or 
of minor importance, as, for example, the pro- 
hibition to add or subtract anything from the 
celebration of Mass. 

What are directive Rubrics? 

Those which merely give counsel or advice, but 
are not obligatory under pain of sin, like the 
prayers to be said, according to the priest's con- 
venience, before Mass. 

Who alone in the Church has supreme power 
over Liturgy? 

This power belongs alone to the sovereign Pontiff. 

Liturgy in General 29 

Give some instances of the exercise of this 

Pope Saint Sixtus (119) ordained that sacred 
ministers alone be permitted to touch sacred ves- 
sels, and confirmed the chanting of the Sanctus 
in the Mass. 

Pope Saint Victor I. ( 193 ) decreed that Easter 
must be celebrated on Sunday. 

Pope Saint Felix (269) recommended that 
Mass be offered on the tombs of the martyrs. 

Pope Sylvester ( 314 ) ordained that Mass must 
be celebrated on a linen cloth, that the deacon wear 
a dalmatic, and he also issued regulations on the 
consecration of the holy chrism, and supplying the 
ceremonies of baptism for those baptized in sick- 

In the succeeding centuries, Leo the Great, 
Gelasms and Gregory the Great enlarged the con- 
tent of the Liturgy. 

What is the nature oj this Papal power over 

It is supreme and worldwide. It extends to all 
Catholics — to all Churches under Roman dominion, 
and to all matters appropriate to public worship, 
such as: the rites and ceremonies of Mass and of 
the divine office; the administration of the sacra- 
ments; liturgic books; the canonization of saints; 
the institution of feasts, etc. 

30 The Mass and Vestments 

How does the Pope ordinarily exercise this 

Through the Sacred Congregation of Rites, 
composed of cardinals and consultors, on whom it 
is incumbent to require that a uniformity of 
Roman rites shall exist in all churches of Roman 

Have bishops any poiver over the Liturgy? 

The bishops, being the pastors and guides of 
their respective dioceses, have a specific power over 
the Liturgy. That control is however limited and 

What can they do in matters Liturgic? 

They can authorize and appoint solemn votive 
Masses, exposition and benediction of the Blessed 
Sacrament, prayers at Mass and processions, bless 
and consecrate churches, and examine liturgic and 
doctrinal books printed in their diocese. 

In what is their control limited and depen- 

A bishop cannot create a special Liturgy. He is 
obliged to accept and use the liturgic books, 
missal, ritual and others published by the Holy 
See. He cannot add to the offices of the saints, 
nor change even the calendar of his own diocese. 
He can neither establish nor suppress feasts of 
obligation. He cannot be a judge to solve doubts 
relative to rites and ceremonies with finality. 



In the beginning was not the Liturgy in the 
vernacular of each country? 

It was embodied at least in the principal lan- 
guages then spoken. 

What tvas the advantage of this practice? 

The faithful had a clear understanding of the 
prayers expressed in their language, and could 
participate in the rites and ceremonies with edifi- 
cation and attention. 

Why did this practice cease notwithstanding 
its advantages? 

(a) Because after a specific period, sooner in 
the East than West, the liturgic text became 
slowly fixed and determined in these ancient lan- 
guages, to which succeeded in time a vast variety 
of new dialects. The Church could not adopt 
these vulgar tongues, because they were constantly 
changing and demanding new translations, which 
imperfectly conveyed the sense and beauty of the 
primitive texts, and lending themselves to the 
peril of endless errors. 

(b) By adhering to the ancient text the 
Church more securely preserved the unity and 
perpetuity of the Catholic faith. A variety .'of 

32 The Mass and Vestments 

tongues in the public worship of the Church has 
always been favorable to heresies and schisms, a 
fact attested by the history of the Eastern 
Church, and the behavior of heresiarchs who 
launched their errors under cover of the novelties 
of spoken speech. 

(c) The employment of the ancient languages 
in the Liturgy preserved the dignity and majesty 
of the sacred ministry of the Church. Whilst the 
primitive tongue had its perfect, sharply defined 
idioms, venerable by their beauty and antiquity — 
the newer vulgar speech was often devoid of 
nobleness, and replete with trivialities which ill- 
assorted with the majesty and impressiveness of 
divine worship. 

WJiat are the elements of the Latin language 
in use in the Church? 

It is distinguished by its precision, vigor, nobility 
and clearness. 

Why is the Latin used in the Roman Liturgy? 

(a) Because of its qualities above enumerated. 

(b ) Because it is a principle of unity between 
peoples otherwise differing in language and nation- 
ality. By it they may assist in various countries 
at the offices of divine worship, not only with the 
same rites, but also with the same formula of 

(c) Because the Latin is the language of the 
ancient Church and of its Fathers and Doctors, 

Language of the Liturgy 33 

and thus its usage brings the inheritance of a 
splendid Christian literature, and establishes a bond 
with the Church of the first and later ages. 

How is the inconvenience of an unknown 
tongue obviated? 

By the injunction constraining priests to instruct 
the faithful on the meaning and purpose of the 
various phases of the Liturgy, and the authorized 
permission, under Episcopal supervision, to issue 
translations in everyday speech of the liturgic 



How are Liturgies divided? 

Into Eastern and Western Liturgies. 

How many are the Eastern Liturgies? 
Four: Greek, Syrian, Armenian and Coptic. 

What is the Greek rite? 
The rite followed by those Churches which 
accepted Constantinople as their pattern. 

How many other Liturgies does the Greek 

Three: Of the Presanctifled, followed on the 
fast days of Lent; of St. Basil, followed on these 
ten days of the year: the Vigils of Christmas and 
Epiphany, January 1, the Greek feast day of St. 
Basil, five Sundays of Lent, Holy Thursday and 
Holy Saturday; of St. Chrysostom, used every 
other day of the year. 

What was the language of the Greek 

Primitively it was Greek. Now it is translated 
into Georgian, Slavonic, Arabic and Roumanian. 

What is the Syrian rite? 

The rite of the races which occupied ancient 
Aramaea, or Syria and Mesopotamia and were sub- 
ject to the patriarch of Antioch. 

Different Kinds of Liturgies 35 

Hoiv many groups of Christians use the 
Syrian Liturgy? 

1. The Chaldeans whose liturgic language is 
the Syro-Chaldaic. 

2. The Syrians whose Liturgy is in the Syriac 

3. The Maronites who employ the Syriac in 
their rites, but whose Liturgy has been modified 
and made to approximate in many particulars to 
the Roman. 

What is the Armenian rite? 

The exclusive rite of the Armenians. 

What is peculiar to the Armenian rite? 

In contrast with the other Oriental rites which 
include a variety of Mass formulas or Ordinaries, 
the Armenian has only one, and therefore it pos- 
sesses a distinctive liturgic unity. 

What is the source of the Armenian rite? 

Its source is predominantly Greek, to which it is 
allied by many resemblances. The Armenians 
attribute it to St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom and 
St. Athanasius. 

What is the Coptic rite? 

The rite in the Coptic language of the people 
of the same name in Egypt. 

Hoiv many other rites does it comprehend? 
Three: That ascribed to St. Cyril or St. Mark, 

36 The Mass and Vestments 

the rite of St. Basil and the rite of St. Gregory, 
the Theologian. 

What other rite is kindred to it? 

That of the Abyssinians, written in the Geez 
language and including twelve different varieties. 

Are these Oriental Liturgies derived from a 
multiple or single source? 

In the absence of documentary proof, their con- 
struction presupposes a uniform origin and a 
primitive identity contemporary with the Apostolic 
age. The same rites, like the imposition of hands, 
the blessing of a priest, the kiss of peace, baptism 
and the Eucharist are common to all. The iden- 
tity of the Mass in the various formulas is also 
established by the lections and chants in the first 
part, and the Preface, the Consecration, the pray- 
ers of the Canon and the Communion in the 

According to a tradition permanent in the 
Oriental Churches who was the author of this 
parent Liturgy? 

St. James, the Apostle and the first bishop of 

What are the Western Liturgies? 

The Western or Occidental Liturgies are those 
followed in countries whose speech or origin was 
Latin or Roman. 

Different Kinds of Liturgies 37 

What are these Liturgies? 
The Roman, Ambrosian, Gallican, Mozarabic and 

What is the Roman? 

The Liturgy in vogue in the Church of Rome, 
and believed to be partly the parent and font of 
all the other Western rites. 

Is the primitive Roman rite still in use? 

Its substantial features may still be seen in the 
actual Roman Liturgy. It is also true that there 
was an epoch when it borrowed many details from 
the other Liturgies, and especially the Gallican. 

What are the most ancient documents of the 
Roman rite? 

The Leonian, Gregorian and Gelasian Sacra- 
mentaries, the Roll of Ravena, and the Ordines 
Romani. The Gregorian and Gelasian Sacra- 
mentaries show traces of Gallican meddling, and 
give evidence of interpolations which are foreign 
to Rome. There is also absence of accord be- 
tween the Roll of Ravenna and the Ordines Romani 
and the Roman rite, as known from other sources. 
The Leonian Sacramentary is the most distinctly 
and purely Roman of them all. 

What is the Leonian Sacramentary? 

It is a collection of prayers and prefaces of the 
Mass for the entire year, nine months of which 

38 The Mass and Vestments 

are extant in the Verona manuscript, and an 
anthology of liturgic extracts constituting a 
primitive Missal. 

To tvhat age is it attributed? 
To the middle of the fifth century. Its author 
however cannot be identified with certainty. 

What is the character of the Roman rite as 
demonstrated by these documents? 

It is sober, practical, grave and dignified. The 
Mass in particular is remarkable for its simplicity. 
The poetic, dramatic and spectacular elements like 
the blessing of ashes and palm branches, the pro- 
cession of lighted candles on the Purification, the 
touching and suggestive ceremonies of Good 
Friday and Holy Saturday, and other analagous 
rites are not found in the ancient Roman Liturgy, 
and are therefore importations from other 

What is the Ambrosian rite? 

The rite followed by the Church of Milan, and 
so named from St. Ambrose, the most illustrious 
of its bishops, not because he was its author, as 
it really antedated him, but because he enriched it 
with many prayers and hymns and introduced the 
custom of chanting the psalms alternately. 

What are its general features? 

In essentials it resembles the Roman rite, but 
in details it approaches the Gallican and Mozarabic 

Different Kinds of Liturgies 39 

Was its usage in Milan unopposed? 

Charlemagne and Pope Nicholas II., in the 
eleventh century, and Eugene IV., in the fifteenth 
tried to substitute the Roman rite for it, but the 
Milanese refused to accept it and Rome refrained 
from coercion. 

What is the Gallican rite? 

The rite prevailing in Gaul ( France ) until the 
middle of the eighth century. 

Hoiv did it differ from the Roman Rite? 

Instead of the sobriety of the Roman Liturgy, 
it was characterized by a showy prolixity and an 
immoderate fondness for antithesis in its prayers 
and ejaculations. 

Hotv did it cease in France? 

It was abolished by King Pepin, father of 
Charlemagne, at the solicitation of Pope Stephen 
II., who promised to crown him in France if he 
would impose the Roman rite on the churches 
subject to him. Charlemagne also confirmed and 
continued this liturgic change. 

What is the Mozarabic rite? 

The ancient Liturgy followed in Spain, also 
called Gothic. 

What is its origin? 

'It is a combination of the primitive Spanish rite 
and the rite which the conquering Goths brought 

40 The Mass and Vestments 

with them. Having been constructed in the 
golden Church era of Spain and by such illustrious 
doctors and saints as Isidore, Ildephonsus, Leander, 
Eugene and Julian, it is penetrated with a pro- 
found theology and illumined with an abundance 
of Patristic learning. 

How long did it prevail in the Spanish 

Until the year 1080, when it was partially suc- 
ceeded by the Roman rite at the instance of Popes 
Alexander II., Urban II., and Gregory VII. 

Has it entirely disappeared from Spain? 

Spanish adherence to the Mozarabic rite never 
yielded entirely to Papal commands, and at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century the famous 
Cardinal Ximenes reconstructed its debris into a 
modified rite, still predominantly Mozarabic, and 
obtained permission from the Holy See to follow 
it in the Cathedral of Toledo, and seven other 
churches in Toledo and Salamanca. 

What is the Celtic rite? 

The formula of public worship among the Celts 
of Ireland and Britain, and moderately adopted 
by the Anglo-Saxons. In its structure it approxi- 
mated the Gallican and Mozarabic rites, and was dis- 
tinguished from these by the peculiar personal 
character of its prayers. 

Different Kinds of Liturgies 41 

What is the contemporary status of all these 

By decrees of Pius IX., and Leo XIII. , the Ori- 
ental Liturgies are legitimately celebrated in their 
respective churches, and explicit assurance given 
them that the Eastern Church will be guaranteed 
for all time the enjoyment of its special rites. 

In the Western Church, the unremitting efforts 
of the Holy See have tended toward liturgic uni- 
formity by the imposition of the Roman rite 
and, barring the rare exceptions noted, it is in 
general usage. 



Where are the rules and formulas of prayers 
of the Liturgy contained? 

In the liturgic books, which are six: 

The Missal. 

The Breviary. 

The Ritual. 

The Martyrology. 

The Pontifical. 

The Ceremonial of Bishops. 

What is the Missal? 

The Missal or Mass-Book, from Missa (Mass) 
contains the rubrics, prayers and titles of Masses 
for the entire year. Its place is primary among 
the liturgic books. 

By whom ivas it published? 

The Roman Missal having been carefully cor- 
rected in obedience to a Tridentine decree was 
definitely published by Urban VIII., in 1634. 

What is the Breviary? 

The Breviary, from Breviarium ( an abridge- 
ment or epitome ) contains all the prayers of the 
Divine Office which all those in Sacred Orders, Sub- 
deacons, Deacons, Priests and Bishops are obliged, 
unless dispensed, to recite every day in the name 
of the Church. 

Roman Liturgic Books 43 

Of what is the Breviary an Epitome? 

For many centuries the Divine Office was longer 
than at present and divided between a number of 
books, as for instance, the Psalter, Antiphonary, 
Homilary, Legendary and Passional, and our 
present Breviary is a consolidation and abbrevia- 
tion of these books and their prayers, homilies, 
psalms, etc. 

By whom was it published? 

It was first published in 1568 by St. Pius V., 
corrected in 1602 by Clement VIII. , and finally re- 
viewed and amended by Urban VIII., in 1631. 

How many parts or divisions does the 
Breviary comprise? 

Four: Corresponding to the four seasons of the 

What does each part contain? 

1. The Psalter adjusted to each day of the week 
and the regular offices. 

2. Extracts from the Scriptures and homilies of 
the Fathers and Doctors. 

3. Biography of saints and special offices. 

4. Prayers, psalms and lections common to the 

5. Votive offices for each day of the week. 

6. Various prayers. 

7. A supplement of offices for certain localities. 

44 The Mass and Vestments 

What is the Ritual? 

The Ritual, from ritus, (ceremony) contains 
the regulations to be observed by a priest in the 
conferring of such sacraments and in the per- 
formance of such functions as fall within his 
competency; also the prayers to be recited in his 
diverse ministry. An appendix gives the Bless- 
ings and Instructions approved by the Holy See. 

By whom was it published? 

It was corrected by order of Paul V., and pub- 
lished in 1614. It was further reformed by 
Benedict XIV., and published in 1752. 

What is the Martyrology? 

It is the Book of Martyrs which contains the 
names, biographies and eulogies of the saints 
which the Church honors every day of the year. 

By whom was it published? 

Its origin is very ancient. It was successively 
published after necessary corrections by Gregory 
XIII., in 1584, and again by Popes Sixtus V., 
Urban VIII., Clement X., and Benedict XIV. 

When is it read? 

The Martyrology, which may be called the 
official calendar of the Christian year, is read each 
day in the solemn or choral recitation of the 
Office after the first prayer of Prime. 

Roman Liturgic Books 45 

What is the Pontifical? 

The Pontifical, from vontifex, (pontiff or bis- 
hop) contains the consecrations, blessings and 
other functions reserved to bishops, as the conse- 
cration of altars, the holy oils, churches, chalices, 
and the administration of the sacraments of Con- 
firmation and Holy Orders. 

By whom was it published? 

The first edition was published by Clement 
VIII., in 1596, and the last by Benedict XIV., in 

What is the Ceremonial of Bishops? 

A book which contains the ceremonies to be 
observed by the highest prelates and their attend- 
ants in Cathedrals, Metropolitan, Collegiate and 
great churches at Pontifical Mass, Vespers, the 
Divine Office, Requiem services and special feasts. 

By whom was it published? 

By Clement VIII., in 1600. It was then revised 
by various Popes and finally issued by Benedict 
XIV., in 1752. 

What other liturgic books are sometimes 

1. A Memorial of Rites, or a Ceremonial which 
is a supplement to the Missal, and gives in the 
vernacular a detailed order to be followed in a 
variety of functions and in different churches. 

46 The Mass and Vestments 

2. Octavary, or book of Roman octaves of 
feasts for those who have not the office ordinary 
of the Breviary. 

3. Diurnal or compendium of the Breviary. 

4. Graduale and Antiphonary containing the 
chant of the Mass and Office. 

5. Paroissien or Missal for the laity, comprising 
extracts from the Missal and Breviary for the use 
of the faithful. 

What were the ancient liturgic books? 

• The Sacramentary, Evangelary, Epistolary, Leg- 
endary, Psalter, Passional, Baptistery, Penitential 
Canons, Processional, Roman Orders, Benediction- 
ary and the Diurnal of the Popes. 

What are the liturgic books now used by 
those who follow the Greek or Constantinople 


1. Anagnosis or lectionary. 

2. Diaconicon for the use of deacons. 

3. Agiasmos for the solemn blessing of water. 

4. Anthologion, containing the offices of Our 
Lord, the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. 

5. Eucologion or ritual. 

6. Liturgicon embodying the three Liturgies of 
St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom and of the Pre- 

7. Typicon or Ordo of offices. 

Roman Liturgic Books 47 

8. Pentecostarion for the Office from Easter 
until the Octave of Pentecost. 

9. Hymnologion or collection of hymns. 

10. Menaehon for the offices of Saints. 

11. Menologe or Marty rology. 



What is a liturgic place? 
A place blessed or consecrated, or simply des- 
tined for some function of worship. 

Enumerate the special liturgic places? 

1. Sacred edifices, churches or oratories. 

2. Crypts. 

3. Sacristies. 

4. Cemeteries. 

Are buildings especially blessed for public, 
worship necessary? 

Yes, even though God fills all space by His im- 
mensity and may be worshipped in any place. 
The custom of all religions has been to localize 
God and the worship due him. This custom 
encourages respect and reverence for God and 
holy things, secures calm and recollection, the 
essentials of worship, and a direct appeal to 
devotion. For the most of mankind, the uni- 
verse or temple of nature with all its magnificence 
will never speak so directly to the heart as the 
humble village church. 

What are those consecrated places called? 
In English, Churches, from the German Kirche, 
and Greek Kyriakos (of the Lord), and in the 

Liturgic Places 49 

Latin, Ecclesia (an assembly or congregation), 
which in time was transferred to the place of 
assemblage. They are also called Domus Dei 
(House of God), for the double reason of affec- 
tionate reverence and a belief in the Real Presence 
of the Eucharist. The name temple was repug- 
nant to the early Christians, as hinting of pagan- 
ism and was never used except with the prefix 
"holy" or "sacred." 

What was the first Christian Church? 

The Cenacle or supper room where Christ cele- 
brated the Pasch with his Apostles and instituted 
the holy Eucharist. 

Where was the first Christian worship held? 

In ordinary houses of the period which con- 
structively were adapted to Christian worship, or 
rather to all the services of a Christian com- 

What was their construction? 

They had entrance from the public road, a 
courtyard surrounded by a colonnade (atrium), 
and at the back another court, bath-room, living 
rooms, cellars and offices of all kinds arranged 
around the inside courts. This sort of building 
could be readily adjusted to the three components 
of a Christian assemblage, the faithful, the cate- 
chumens and the penitents, besides providing a 
dwelling for the bishop and his clergy, a deposi- 

50 The Mass and Vestments 

tory for papers, books and sacred vessels and a 
storehouse for clothing, bedding and provisions 
for the poor and strangers. This Domus Eccles- 
ise (house of the Church) in those early days 
was a complex institution, being at the same 
time a church, episcopal residence, refectory, dis- 
pensary and an almshouse. 

The place of worship in it assumed a special 
dignity and reverence. The other parts came 
gradually to be detached from it, and never 
shared its sacred character. The Domus Eccles- 
ise became the Domus Dei (Home of God), the 
place where Christians met the Lord — the Domi- 
nicum therefore in Latin and Kyriakon in 

When were Churches dedicated? 

Immediately after the persecution of Diocletian 
we have notices of such dedications. The earliest 
was that of Tyre in 314, described by Eusebius, 
who also having been the preacher inserts the 
sermon of the occasion in his history. 

Besides these urban churches, where did the 
early Christians meet for worship? 

In cemeteries, in the catacombs, and over the 
tombs of martyrs. These cemetery chapels were 
used for funeral services, Masses, anniversaries 
and for the funeral agape (love ) or love-feasts 
of the primitive Christians. Especially popular 
were the graves of the martyrs. To shelter the 

Liturgic Places 51 

crowds praying at these shrines and to honor the 
heroes of the faith, edifices of exceptional size and 
costliness were erected. If they did not enshrine 
the actual tomb the relics were borne to them with 
solemn ceremonial. This was a second triumphal 
interment — a depositio. 

In the beginning, this type of church was scarce 
when limited to those constructed over the veri- 
table tombs, because the cult and memory of such 
martyrs was relatively few in number. Later, by 
a ritualistic fiction and a devotional ingenuity it 
came to be recognized that a single martyr could 
have many tombs. Any relic whatever — a piece 
of linen saturated with his blood, a bit of a pall 
covering his sarcophagus, a modicum of oil from 
the lamps in his sanctuary would represent him, 
and the possession of any of these objects would 
be equivalent to the interment of his body. In this 
way representative tombs could be indefinitely 
multiplied, and soon the churches with relics out- 
numbered the others, and as their superior prestige 
was confessed and accepted, it became a general 
custom to insert relics in the altar of every church. 
When these were not available, portions of the 
Gospel and even consecrated Hosts were used as 

What are the Catacombs? 

They are extended subterranean galleries form- 
ing a labyrinth of tortuous ways, low down and 

52 The Mass and Vestments 

narrow, often of various floors superimposed, 
underlying the city, but oftener under the out- 
skirts, and with a number of distinct approaches 
and exits. 

How did they serve the early Christians? 

In the age of persecution they offered a provi- 
dential asylum where they escaped the blood- 
thirsty fury of the pagans, where they were able 
to assemble the faithful for worship and instruc- 
tion, and they also provided a burial place for 
their dead, and notably for their sainted martyrs. 

In the age of peace how did Christian piety 
signalize itself? 

By an enthusiastic ardor for the construction 
of churches. Constantine and his sainted mother, 
Helen, led the way and their example was uni- 
versally followed. By imperial munificence 
sumptuous basilicas were reared in Rome, Con- 
stantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem. 

What was the origin of these edifices? 

A large number were new constructions. In 
some instances special dwellings were adapted to 
Christian worship. It was the exception to trans- 
form pagan temples into Christian churches. 
More frequently they were demolished and their 
material worked into a new structure, whilst the 
architectural form of aisle, divided by columns in 
their basilicas, served as a pattern for the new 

Liturgic Places 53 

Wliat architectural type did these Churches 

(1) The Greek with its row of columns surround- 
ing three or four sides of the central building, 
forming a portico or peristyle, bonded together by 
entablature and pediment, and whether Doric, 
Ionic or Corinthian dependent on the character of 
column and capital. The aim of all Greek archi- 
tecture was external beauty as illustrated in the 
Athenian Parthenon, for a long period used as a 
Christian church, and among modern edifices, the 
famous Madeleine of Paris with the addition of 
a dome which is not Greek. 

(2) The Roman, an adaptation of Greek archi- 
tecture with the auxiliary of the arch over doors 
and windows and vaulted ceilings, unknown to the 
Greeks. The Roman Basilica, from the Greek 6a- 
silikos ( kingly, royal ) the Roman law court with 
its apse where the judges sat on a raised platform, 
and its nave and lateral aisles divided by columns, 
furnished the pattern of the early Roman Church. 

(3) Byzantine, popular in Constantinople, and 
carried to its perfect form in the church of Sancta 
Sophia. The Romans often built tombs and 
temples in a circular shape and the Byzantine is 
an elaboration of this style. Baptisteries and 
churches followed this exemplar. 

(4) Romanesque, called by the French Romance 
and by the English Norman, a development from 
the Roman with many structural alterations. 

54 The Mass and Vestments 

(5) Medieval Gothic, derived from the Roman- 
esque with the substitution of the pointed for the 
round arch. The Romanesque sought expansion, 
the Gothic aerial elevation. Its home was France, 
and the period of its grandest display the twelfth 

(6) Renaissance, the creation of the classical re- 
vival in the fifteenth century when the intellect 
and taste of Italy became enamoured of Greek 
and Roman antiquity. Hitherto architecture was 
creative; now it is imitative, and architects were 
content to copy the artistic creations of the ancient 
Roman and Greek world that had escaped destruc- 
tion. In the beginning, they followed closely the 
lines of antique construction and decoration, but 
in the sixteenth century there was the assertion 
of the dexterity, caprice and individual fancy of 
the builder, and the introduction of more elaborate 
ornament than was dreamt of by Greek or Roman. 

( 7) Modern Gothic, a recoil from the supremacy 
of classical architecture which had held sway for 
two hundred years. This reaction began in Eng- 
land in the nineteenth century under that en- 
thusiastic pioneer, Pugin, and was immediately 
adopted in France, Belgium, Germany and the 
United States. 

What are the principal parts of a church 

The belfry or campanile (Italian), vestibule, 

Liturgic Places 


nave, from navis (ship) 
from its shape, transept, 
choir, chapels and sanc- 

How are churches 


1. Basilicas. 

2. Stations. 

3. Cathedrals. 

4. Collegiate Churches. 

5. Parish Churches. 

6. Simple Churches. 

7. Oratories or Chapels. 


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What is a Basilica? 

A Basilica, from the 
Greek basileion (royal house) is that Church 
which holds the first place in point of dignity 
and privileges. There are two classes: the major 
and minor Basilica. 

What are the Major Basilicas? 

They are churches of the first order and num- 
ber five in Rome: of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John 
Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Lawrence beyond 
the wall. Outside Rome, there are the basilicas 
of St. Francis of Assisi and the Cathedral of 

What are the Minor Basilicas? 

56 The Mass and Vestments 

They are churches of the second rank, which 
differ from the first only in point of privi- 
leges and spiritual favors. There are some of 
these in Rome and a few in the Catholic world. 

What are Stations 

They are churches possessing the tomb of an 
apostle or martyr, to which processions were 
made on certain fixed days for the celebration of 

What is a Cathedral? 

Cathedral, from cathedra ( chair ) is the church 
in a diocese of the titular bishop, where his throne 
is set up and where he officiates. These attri- 
butes make it a church of exceptional dignity. 

How are Cathedrals divided? 

Into Simple and Metropolitan. The Cathedral 
Metropolitan from the Greek (Mother-City) is 
the church occupied by an archbishop. 

How many classes of Metropolitan Cathedrals 
are there? 

Three: Simple, Primatial and Patriarchal, con- 
tingent on their occupancy by Archbishop, Primate 
or Patriarch. The patriarchal dignity belonged 
originally to the Sees founded directly by St. 
Peter. Hence Rome, Antioch and Alexandria, to 
which St. Peter assigned St. Mark, representing 
Europe, Asia and Africa. In time, Antioch and 
Alexandria were lost to the church and although 

Liturgic Places 57 

derelict, she yet lays claim to them. Hence the 
patriarchal title retained by the chief Roman 
basilicas: St. Mary Major for Antioch; St. Paul's 
for Alexandria; St. Peter's for Constantinople and 
St. Lorenzo for Jerusalem, suppressed since 1847, 
when a resident patriarch took possession of the 
Jerusalem See. 

Minor patriarchates were conferred on Grado, 
transferred to Venice, Lisbon, Goa, India, and 
formerly Bourges, France. 

What is a Collegiate Church? 

Collegiate, from the Latin collegium ( assembly, 
community) is a church served by Canons who 
celebrate the office in choir every day. Thus its 
liturgical meaning differs from the conventional 
and ordinary which would connect it with a col- 
lege. These Canons are distinct from, and inferior 
to the Cathedral Canons. Such churches were, 
prior to the Revolution, frequent in France. Now 
they are infrequent. 

What is a Parish Church? 

A church to which a titular cure, pastor or 
rector is appointed. Auxiliary chapels to the 
principal church served by the same clergy are 
called succursals, vicarial chapels, and chapels of 

What is a Simple Church? 
A church possessed by members of a Religious 
Order, in the locality of their canonical establish- 

58 The Mass and Vestments 

ment, independent and separated from the parish 
church, where certain functions like the chanting 
of the canonical hours and the celebration of Mass 
are performed, and, by permission of the bishop, 
preaching and the hearing of confessions. 

Why are the privileges of a Simple Church 

To safeguard the rights and emoluments of the 
canonical incumbent of the parish church. 

What is an Oratory or Chapel? 

An Oratory from the Latin oratorium (place 
of prayer) and Chapel, in Latin cavella (a little 
cape or cloak ) from the small cloak of St. Martin 
of Tours which the Merovingian Kings kept in a 
special oratory of the palace, the name of the relic 
passing to the oratory, are both alike places of 
prayer and worship. 

How are Oratories distinguished? 

As public and private Oratories. A public Ora- 
tory has an entrance on a thoroughfare which 
offers free access to the faithful. A private 
Oratory is really a domestic chapel built in a 
private house and entirely subject to its family. 

Give examples of public Oratories? 

The Chapels of religious houses, hospitals, 
seminaries, colleges, prisons, Episcopal palaces and 
chapels of religious communities subsidiary to the 
principal Chapel. 

Liturgic Places 59 

What are the privileges of a Public Oratory? 

It is blessed, and in it may be offered divine 
functions in whole or part, and the faithful may 
discharge the precept of hearing Mass. When 
these concessions are a trespass and menace to 
local parochial rights they may be abridged by 
Episcopal authority. 

What is the condition for Mass in a private 

It is imperative to obtain the permission of the 
Holy See. 

Who may satisfy the precept oj hearing Mass 
in a private Oratory? 

Those who have received the Indult of a pri- 
vate chapel and the sharers of their privilege, 
like children and grandchildren, parents and 
relatives to the fourth degree of kindred, noble 
guests and servants of the family. 

What is a Crypt? 

Crypt, from a Greek word which means to hide 
or conceal, is a duplicate subterranean Church situ- 
ated under chapel or choir, or an entire upper 
church, which has its own altars, relics and tombs. 
It must at least have an altar to be a crypt. It is 
a memorial of the catacombs of the early years, 
where Christians were buried and where they 
concealed the Sacred Mysteries from the profana- 
tions and insults of their enemies. They are used 
as burial places for royalty, bishops, cures and 

60 The Mass and Vestments 

worthy nobles, and as meeting places for religious 
fraternities and the teaching of catechism. 

What is the Sacristy? 

The Sacristy, from the Latin sacr avium (holy 
place) is that part of the Church convenient to 
the Sanctuary where the priest and his ministers 
vest for the services, and where the holy vest- 
ments and sacred vessels and linens, etc. are kept. 

What does the word Cemetery signify? 

According to its Greek original it signifies a 
dormitory where the bodies of the dead lie asleep 
awaiting the resurrection. Like the churches and 
public chapels, it receives a benediction which 
may be forfeited for the same causes that destroy 
the blessing of a church, and then there is need 
of a reconciliation. Only Catholics may be buried 
in consecrated ground, and sometimes for reasons 
fixed by statute nominal Catholics may be excluded 
from Christian burial. Primitively, the altar was 
set up among the graves of the dead, and later 
the churchyard encompassed the church. Now 
the requirements of sanitation in crowded com- 
munities and the prescriptions of law banish 
cemeteries to outskirts and detach them from the 

Bibliography: Origin of Christian Worship, Duchesne; 
Les Origines Liturgiques, Dom Cabral; American Ecclesias- 
tical Review, June 1, 1904; LAmi du Clerge, August 16, 
August 30, September 13, September 27, October 25, 1906, 
May 23, July 11, 1907. 



What is the meaning of Liturgia or Liturgy? 

Liturgy or Liturgia, Leiton (public) and Ergon 
(a work) in the East is the sole appellation for 
the Mass; in the West it is a collection of all the 
rites and ceremonies employed by the church in 
her sacred offices and in the administration of the 

Is there an identity of meaning between 
Liturgy and Rubrics? 

No. Liturgy includes the rules and formulae 
pertaining to the sacred functions of the church 
generally, whilst Rubrics, rubrum (red) are 
the directions in red letters for the proper per- 
formance of any particular ceremony. 

Is the Liturgy or Formulary of the Mass 
and the Sacraments uniform in the Church? 

In the church of St. Clement's time— the end of 
the first century— there was not only a definite 
framework, but more or less uniformity in the 
substance and very language of the liturgical 
prayers. The Liturgy, however, was not accepted 
as fixed and unalterable by the early church. A 
large measure of discretion in modifying details 
was left to the bishops to suit local conditions and 
was exercised by Popes, St. Leo and St. Gregory 

62 The Mass and Vestments 

of Rome, and St. Basil and St. Cyril of Alexandria. 
Identity of general outlines and divergence of 
details are the notes that distinguish the earlier 
Mass formularies. Difference there was in the 
various services to the onlooker and participant, 
in prayer, movement and correlation of parts, but 
beneath all the diversity there runs a singular 
unanimity of faith in the Divine Victim, in the 
confession of human weaknesses, and in the source 
whence healing and strength are to come. 
Mention some of the ancient Liturgies? 

( 1 ) The West Syrian group in which is its most 
ancient type called the "Greek St. James," which 
has been the matrix and root of the different 
Liturgies used by the Syrian Jacobites; the 
Liturgy of St. Basil, St. Chrysostom and the 
Armenian rites with some modifications. The 
Mass of the Greek church of to-day is according 
to the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom for all days 
except fast days and Sundays in Lent and a few 
other days, when the formulary of St. Basil and 
that of the Presanctified is followed. 

(2) The East Syrian family reared in the Patri- 
archate of Antioch, which comprised the Malabar 
Liturgy used by the Christians of the Apostle, St. 
Thomas in India until the Portuguese conquest, 
and the present day Liturgy in vogue among the 

(3) The Alexandrian group with its earliest ex- 
tant Liturgy called "St. Mark's," somewhat changed 

The Liturgy of the Mass 63 

under the influence of Constantinople, and the rite 
followed by the few orthodox Christians who re- 
mained briefly in Egypt after the great Mono- 
physite heresy. It also includes the two Liturgies 
used by the Egyptian Copts and the rite of the 
Ethiopians, which is the Mass of the heretical 
Monophysites of Abyssinia. 

These three families belong to the Eastern 

(4) In the Western Church was the Hispano- 
Gallic family, a puzzle to experts in Liturgy who 
endeavor to trace its ancestry. Some, like Sir W. 
Palmer, find its archetype in Asia Minor before 
the Council of Laodicea in the fourth century. 
Others, like Duchesne, discern an Oriental paren- 
tage and a direct introduction into Milan by the 
Arian bishop Auxentius about the middle of the 
fourth century. The structural aspects of this 
family ally it with East and West. Its most dis- 
tinguished offspring are the Liturgy of the Church 
of Lyons, no longer in use, the Ambrosian rite 
still permitted in the Church of Milan and the 
Mozarabic rite of Toledo in Spain. 

(5) The Roman Liturgy which is the form now 
followed generally in the Western, as the rite of 
St. Chrysostom is the standard of the Eastern 

How do the Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites 
derive their Names? 
The first from St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan (374). 

64 The Mass and Vestments 

The second from "mostarab," a participle of the 
Arab verb, "estarab," i. e. to Arabize, which was 
applied as a nickname to those Christians in Spain, 
who, under Moorish dominion, remained faithful to 
their religion and adopted the Arab dress and 
mode of life to escape persecution. The rite 
received its name because it was a Moorish 
concession granted to so-called Arabianized 
Christians. Its origin is credited to St. Isidore, 
of Seville, but very probably it was the original 
rite in use among the Christians in Spain. It 
is also called the Gothic-Spanish, Isidorian and 
Toledian rite. 

In how many Spanish churches is the Moz- 
arabic rite followed? 

It was gradually supplanted by the Roman 
Liturgy, so that at the end of the fifteenth cen- 
tury it was followed only in six churches in Toledo 
on great feasts. Cardinal Ximenes ( 1517 ) built 
the beautiful chapel of Corpus Christi in the 
Cathedral of Toledo, to which he attached a chap- 
ter of thirteen priests, and here daily until now 
the Office is recited and Mass offered according to 
the Mozarabic rite. On Sundays and feast-days 
it is also the accepted rite in the churches of St. 
Mark and Sts. Justina and Rufina of the same 
city, and at Salamanca in the chapel of St. Salva- 
dor in the old cathedral on sixteen appointed days 
the Mozarabic Mass is of obligation. 

The Liturgy of the Mass 65 

What are the earliest authorities verifying 
the Roman Liturgy? 

(1) The most ancient is a Sacramentary dis- 
covered by Blanchini at Verona and attributed by 
him to St. Leo the Great. Muratori and Ballerini, 
however, ascribe it to an unknown Roman, a con- 
temporary of Felix III. (790). 

(2) The Gelasian Sacramentary of Pope Gelasius 
(492 ), the scholarly product of the labors of Cardi- 
nal Thomasius and Gerbert in collating and compar- 
ing various MSS. of the eighth and tenth century. 

(3) The Gregorian Sacramentary of the time of 
Hadrian I. (790). 

St. Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth 
century revised the Liturgy, gave us the present 
form of the Canon of the Mass, placed the Pater 
Noster after the Canon, reduced the number of 
Prefaces and Collects and rearranged them. 

What are the Liturgies in use in the Eastern 
and Western Church of to-day? 

In the East, the Liturgies of St. John Chrysos- 
tom and St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappa- 
docia, hold undisputed sway except among the 
Maronites and Syrians, where a modified Liturgy 
of St. James, admittedly the most ancient, pre- 
vails; in the church of Jerusalem and some 
islands in the Greek Archipelago the original 
Liturgy of St. James is used, and in the Patri- 
archate of Alexandria a diluted Liturgy of St. 
Mark is followed. 

66 The Mass and Vestments 

The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is accepted 
by the Russian church in the Empire of Russia, 
not in its Greek form, but in Slavonic, which is the 
liturgical language. It is also the liturgical guide 
in the four Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alex- 
andria, Antioch and Jerusalem; among the 
Mingrelians, Wallachians, Ruthenians, Rascians, 
Bulgarians and Albanians; in the kingdom of 
Greece and its dependencies, as also with the 
United Greeks or Roman Catholic Greeks in Italy, 
the Austrian Empire and the four Patriarchates 
mentioned above. 

The dual form of Mass celebration as typified 
by the Chrysostom and Basil Liturgies, still extant 
in the Eastern church, is a curious and a convinc- 
ing example of the tenacity with which the 
Oriental Christian clings to its ancient rites. The 
two are thus adjusted: The Liturgy of St. Basil 
on the Vigils of Christmas and Epiphany, the 
feast of St. Basil, January 1, and all the Sundays 
of Lent, except Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday and 
Holy Saturday; the Liturgy of St. John Chrysos- 
tom on the other week days and Sundays of the 
year, except on the ferial days of Lent, when the 
service of the Presanctifled, called the Liturgy of 
the Presanctifled is used instead of the Basilian 
and Chrysostom rites. 

In the Western Church, the Roman Liturgy 
holds a commanding and nearly universal head- 
ship. The only exceptions are the Ambrosian 

The Liturgy of the Mass 67 

rite in Milan, and the Mozarabic in a single chapel 
of the Toledo (Spain) Cathedral, where it has a 
full beneficed canonry, and in the old Cathedral 
of Salamanca (Spain) sixteen times in the year, 
and in a few churches of Toledo on Sundays 
and Holydays. 

The Gallican or Lyonese rite and the Sarum 
rite of English celebrity, deriving its name from 
Salisbury, whose cathedral was its chief exponent, 
have entirely disappeared, except in the re- 
searches of the archaeologists who study their 
structure to trace their origin and the laws of 
their growth. 

What are the prominent characteristics of 
these Liturgies? 

(1) All Liturgies approximate each other the 
farther they are traced back. The more ancient 
agree more closely than the modern. Thus our 
Good Friday service and the Greek St. James are 
in closer agreement than their offspring, the 
Roman Mass and the Liturgy of Constantinople 
of to-day. 

(2) The points of agreement between the vari- 
ous Liturgies must have come from some uniform 
source, and none is more reasonable than the 
teaching of the Apostles, who while allowing 
freedom of detail insist on substantial uniformity 
in the general structure and character of the 

68 The Mass and Vestments 

(3) The chief points of contact between the 
Liturgies are: the reading of Scripture, the prayer 
of the faithful, the kiss of peace, the preface, pre- 
ceded by the Sursum Corda and followed by the 
Sanctus, the commemoration by the celebrant of 
the living and the dead, the recital of the institu- 
tion of the Holy Eucharist with the words of 
consecration, the commemoration of our Lord's 
passion and death, the Pater Noster, the Commu- 
nion with its preparation and thanksgiving. The 
only discord in these harmonies is that of lan- 
guage and sequence. 

(4) All but one of the features of the Liturgy 
are enshrined in the Roman Mass of to-day — the 
prayer of the faithful being found only in the 
Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday. In its 
contents and structure, therefore, there is high 
possibility of Apostolic handiwork. 

(5) The general arrangement and some of the 
language of the Roman Mass may, by very prob- 
able inference, be ascribed to St. Clement (93) 
and even to St. Peter. 

(6) The Canon of the Mass was altered to an 
uncertain extent within two centuries after the 
Apostles. In the beginning of the fourth century 
it came into almost its present form. In the sixth 
century, St. Gregory the Great made a few 
changes and left it as we have it now. 

(7) Renaudot, the great liturgiologist, gives us 
this suggestive summary: 

The Liturgy of the Mass 69 

"Hence shines out clearly that likeness of pray- 
ers and rites which confirms the ancient doctrine 
of the whole church concerning the Eucharist." 

All ancient Liturgies, orthodox and heretical, are 
constructed on, or permeated by the sacrificial 
character of the Holy Eucharist and our Lord's 
Real Presence therein. Deny the Mass as a 
Sacrifice and the Real Presence, and every invo- 
cation, petition and detail of these Liturgies become 
irrelevant and unmeaning. 

What is the source of the frame-work of the 
first Liturgy? 

There has been a tradition always in the church, 
as SS. Jerome and Gregory Nazianzen bear wit- 
ness, that the Christian church derived its services 
from the Synagogue. 

How was the first Mass Celebrated? 

Cardinal Bona in his great work on the Liturgy 
declares that lights were certainly used after the 
manner of the ancient Hebrews, and vestments 
very different from the garb of every day life. 
In confirmation of this latter fact, he mentions 
that the chasuble of St. Peter was conveyed from 
Antioch to the church of St. Genevieve at Paris 
and there carefully preserved. 

Was there any definite Liturgy in the Mass 
oj the earliest age of the Church? 

There is a consensus of opinion among liturgi- 

70 The Mass and Vestments 

ologists that there was no definite Liturgy beyond 
the words of Consecration and the Lord's prayer. 

What was this Liturgy of the Apostles called? 

It was called the Clementine Liturgy, which 
through the first three centuries remained un- 
changed, and in substance is believed to be en- 
shrined in the second and third books of the 
Apostolic Constitutions, compiled very probably in 
Asia Minor. 

Were any changes made in this Liturgy? 

Pope St. Damasus (384), St. Leo the Great 
(461 ) , and Gelasius I. ( 496 ) added new Prefaces 
and prayers. Gregory the Great (604) con- 
densed many additions of his predecessors and 
excised some and changed others. 

What reason do they offer for this statement 
of an Indefinite Liturgy? 

Because the stress and terror of persecution, or 
other circumstance, made it necessary to shorten 
and expedite the Mass as much as possible. 

Do they support the statement by any au- 

Yes, by the authority of St. Gregory the Great, 
in his letter to John, the Syrian. 

Is the letter capable of only this interpreta- 

Liturgical experts like Probst and Le Brun 
discover in the same letter expressions corrobora- 

The Liturgy of the Mass 71 

ting a Canon of the Mass, in addition to the Our 
Father. Besides "Orationem dominicam" — the 
Lord's prayer — St. Gregory refers to an "Orationem 
oblationis" — the prayer of offering — said in the 
Mass, which may be the equivalent of our Canon. 

Ij this be not the meaning of St. Gregory, 
what fallows'? 

It places him in opposition to his predecessors, 
who explicitly affirmed the Apostolic origin of 
parts of the Liturgy. It arrays him against St. 
Justin in the second century, who declares that 
the Liturgy of his time had been delivered to the 
faithful by the Apostles. It places him in an 
attitude of hostility to the discovered lost passages 
of St. Clement's Epistle ( first century ) , in which 
are revealed such striking verbal identities with 
the Alexandrian Liturgy as to justify the belief 
that the Pontiff was quoting the text of the Mass. 
So cautious a scholar as Dr. Lightfoot, grounding 
his conclusions on this Clementine letter, believes 
that at the end of the first century a Liturgy in 
substance and uniformity existed. 

What then is the safe assumption touching a 
primitive Liturgy? 

We may safely assume that the central and sub- 
stantial framework of the Liturgy, or form of the 
Mass, was delivered orally by the Apostles to their 

72 The Mass and Vestments 

How long did this oral deliverance continue? 

LeBrun inclines to the opinion that it continued 
until the fifth century. This, however, appears 
like a hasty, ill-considered guess. There is con- 
clusive evidence in favor of existing liturgical 
formulae, definite, written and accepted in the 
second century. Celsus, the notorious anti-Chris- 
tian philosopher (second century) affirms that 
he has seen the "barbarous books" of the Chris- 
tians "with daemonic names and portentous ex- 
pressions." Origen's reply suggests that he must 
have seen the liturgical books, and not merely the 
dyptichs or tablets on which were inscribed the 
names of those prayed for, as was generally 

The "Servers and Hymns" of St. Justin, and 
the "ordering of the prayers" of Origen are only 
intelligible when understood of set formulae, and 
this contention is further strengthened by the 
very close identity, not merely in substance, but 
even in expression between the Liturgies and the 
liturgical allusions in these and others of the early 
fathers. Besides, St. Irenaeus and Tertullian 
censure the Gnostics for corrupting the Liturgy, 
which is more intelligible of a written text than a 
deliverance by word of mouth. 

What is the oldest extant type of the exter- 
nal ceremonial oj the Mass? 

In the fourth chapter of the Apocalypse, where 
a description of heaven is so graphic a replica of 

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ro. 3: 




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74 The Mass and Vestments 

the Holy Sacrifice as to preclude the possibility of 
the resemblance being accidental. In any event, 
the verisimilitude is so striking that the Christians, 
at the end of the first century, hearing the pas- 
sage read would discern all the dominant features 
of the Mass, at which they were about to assist. 
The bishop seated on his throne at the end of the 
church in the apse surrounded by his twenty-four 
white-robed presbyters; the lamps burning before 
the Divme Presence; the chant of the Sanctus 
taken up by the elders; the Eucharistic praises for 
the blessing of creation and redemption; the 
descent among them of the central figure, the 
lamb "standing as it were slain," were the sacro- 
sanct scenes enacted before their senses, the 
reality of which was hidden behind the veil. 
Is it a strain on the verities that much of the 
ritual was moulded on this description? Unless 
these ceremonies already existed their significance 
would! have been lost on the disciples of St. John. 

What causes are responsible for this diver- 
sity of Liturgy? 

Local conditions, difficult now to designate and 
analyze, and weighty general influences which 
are ascertainable. 

Hoiv will we account Jor the additions made 
to the same Liturgy in the progress of time? 

Chiefly by the play of these larger, more com- 
prehensive agencies. 

The Liturgy of the Mass 75 

What are these important influences? 

(1) The Disciplina Arcani, or the Discipline of 
the Secret already referred to in the derivation of 
the word Mass. The early church kept from the 
heathen, the unbaptized and the uninstructed a 
full knowledge of these mysteries of the Faith, 
apt to be misunderstood. Only the baptized, and 
instructed, and worthy were allowed to remain 
through the entire Mass. This reverential reserve 
applied more particularly to the Holy Eucharist, 
about which had gathered the most revolting 
accusations and perversions of the heathen, against 
which the Christians rarely defended themselves, 
because their defense would fall on incredulous 
and hostile ears. Even when St. Justin trans- 
gressed the reservation in his reply to the Emperor, 
Antoninus Pius, whilst we can follow his reason- 
ing, we also feel it is all an unintelligible jargon 
to the Pagans, and, therefore, that all such vindi- 
cations are like the nebulous pillar-guide of the 
Jews in the desert— a bright light to friend— a 
dark shadow to enemy. Because of this reserve, 
the Catechumens (Katecheo — teach orally) or 
those under instruction and preparing for Bap- 
tism were dismissed from the church after the 
sermon and before the Canon, or sacrificial part of 
the service. This discipline cut the Mass in twain — 
into that of the Catechumens and that of the 

76 The Mass and Vestments 

(2) The penitential Discipline of the early church 
also contributed its share in moulding the elements 
of the Mass. It was the age when public and the 
grosser delinquencies of Christians were penalized 
before the faithful, scandalized and humiliated by 
their transgressions. As the Catechumens were 
divided into two classes — the Hearers, or the un- 
instructed who expressed a wish to join the 
church, and the Elect or Competents, who with a 
completed instruction stood expectantly on the 
threshold of Baptism, so there were four kinds of 
Penitents: The Weepers, who stood in the outside 
porch or Narthex; the Hearers, who stood in the 
second porch; the Prostrates, whose place was 
near the Ambo, or pulpit, and the Co-standers or 
Consistentes, who were allowed to mingle with 
the faithful in the nave near the altar and assist 
at the entire Mass, though barred from Com- 

The eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions 
contains the Liturgy called the Clementine, very 
probably the oldest of all formularies in the 
Western Church, in which are the rubrics of a 
Mass when the discipline of exclusion was en- 
forced. It was applied to four classes; the Cate- 
chumens, the Energumens or possessed, the Com- 
petents and the Penitents. Over each of these 
the deacon uttered a bidding prayer soliciting the 
intercession of the faithful, and they in turn 
answering "Kyrie eleison," then over bowed 

The Liturgy of the Mass 77 

heads, the celebrants pronounced a prayer, after 
which they filed out of the church. 

The Kyrie eleison before the Gloria of our 
present Mass seems to be a vestige of this practice, 
which St. Gregory testifies was in use before his 
time, whilst tradition supplements, that Pope 
Sylvester introduced the Kyrie from the East. 

(3) The relaxation and final disappearance of 
the Discipline of the church, catechumenal and 
penitential, and the vanishing of the Discipline of 
the Secret necessitated a reconstruction of the 
Mass. Very probably, canonical penances, of 
which there is yet a memory in the name and 
time limits of indulgences, began to decline soon 
after persecution ceased, to disappear entirely at 
different periods in different localities. The Dis- 
cipline of the Secret held sway longer. The East 
saw the last of it at the end of the fifth, and in the 
West it continued until the middle of the sixth 

The disuse of the ritual over the catechumens 
and penitents, and their absorption as it were into 
the body of the faithful, with the privilege of 
staying through the entire service, left a void 
which was filled in the Roman Mass by the Gloria 
in Excelsis, and by the Collects, of which the 
older Liturgies had a very large assortment. 

(4) The slow but progressive growth of the 
festivals and saints' days of the ecclesiastical year 
in the West necessitated the adoption of many so- 

78 The Mass and Vestments 

called variables, such as special collects, prefaces 
and additions to the communicantes, to express the 
mysteries and commemorate the saints memorial- 

(5 ) Finally, the divorce between the East and 
West which entered on its first stage when Con- 
stantine transferred his throne to Constantinople, 
caused further divergence between the Liturgies. 
The preeminence of the Roman See led to the sub- 
stitution of the Roman rite for the Hispano- 
Gallican, the other great Liturgy of the West, 
which now survives only in Salamanca and 
Toledo under the name of Mozarabic where it was 
installed by Cardinal Ximenes. 

The Gallican rite ceased to exist in the ninth 
century, although it continued to leave a very 
definite impress on the medieval rituals of England, 
France and Germany, which were nominally 
Roman with Hispano-Gallic details. 

In the East, the political supremacy of Constan- 
tinople, and its doctrinal orthodoxy at the time of 
the great heresies, of which the mystery of the 
Incarnation was so long the storm-centre, gave it 
also a liturgical ascendancy which established its 
ritual as the standard, according to which all 
Liturgies of the Orthodox church were constructed. 
Some of these in their very primitive form may 
still be found among the Nestorians and Mono- 


The Liturgy of the Mass 79 

What and how 'many were the ancient books 
containing the rubrics arid prayers to be 
observed and recited in the Mass? 

(a) The Sacramentary, or Book of Mysteries, 
which contained the prayers or collects, prefaces, 
canon and the prayers after communion. The 
canon was always contained in a separate volume, 
and placed in the middle of the altar as it is now 
in a bishop's Mass. 

( b ) The Lectionary, which contained the lessons 
from the Old Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, 
Epistles and the Apocalypse, distributed through 
the ecclesiastical year and read in the Mass. Because 
many of these lessons were extracts from the 
Epistles of St. Paul, the book was also called the 
Epistolary or Apostolic. 

(c) The Evangelary, which contained the 
various gospels from the four Evangelists, to be 
read in the Mass throughout the year. This book 
was borne with solemn pomp to the altar at the 
beginning of Mass, and next to the cross was the 
most treasured symbol in the sacrifice. The 
Evangelary and the Lectionary were also called 
the Companion, by excellence, because the clergy 
were enjoined to make them their special vade- 
mecums and manuals. 

{d) The Antiphonary, which contained the an- 
tiphons and psalms for the Introit, the Gradual, 
Tract, Offertorv and Communion, which were 

80 The Mass and Vestments 

sung in choir. It was also called the Antiphonal, 
Responsal and Gradual. 

(e) The Roman Ordos, which contained the 
rites and ceremonies for the sacred functions, just 
as the preceding volumes contain the text of their 
prayers and lessons. These Ordos were comprised 
in fifteen volumes, of which the first treats of the 
Mass, and is ascribed to the seventh century. 
Eight deal with the Mass, Baptism, Ordination 
and other functions, and belong to the eighth 
century. The six remaining are of a date subse- 
quent to this. The equivalent of these in the 
church now are the Roman Pontifical and the 
Ceremonial of bishops. 

When were these separate books combined 
into one volume? 
In the ninth century. 

Why were they combined? 

Because their separate use became very onerous 
and difficult in the celebration of private masses. 
The corporate volume was called a plenary Missal, 
because it contained, in full, all the prayers and 
lessons and rubrics necessary for a low Mass. 
Vestiges of the ancient custom are yet discernible 
in the use of a Missal and Canon in a Pontifical 
Mass, and of an Evangelary and Lectionary for the 
ministers, and Gradual for the choir in a Solemn 
High Mass. The employment of altar cards may 
also be taken as an echo of the same ancient usage. 

The Liturgy of the Mass 81 

What is the name oj the Mass-Book now in 

It is called the Roman Missal. 

Does it differ from the Plenary Missal of the 
ninth century? 

It does in many respects. 

Why was the Roman Missal published and 
substituted for other missals? 

Because, with the exception of the Canon of the 
Mass, which had remained unchanged from the 
time of Pope Gregory the Great, the older missals 
had introduced into the Mass many unauthorized 
changes and additions which were departures from 
the purity and simplicity of the Gregorian Liturgy. 
Many dioceses had their own special missals, differ- 
ing not only in the prayers, but also in the saints 
commemorated and honored, and too often these 
saints were canonized by private devotion or re- 
gard, without reference to the authorization of the 

Who began and perfected the restoration oj 
the Roman Missal? 

The Council of Trent (Session XVIII) Febru- 
ary 16, 1562, entrusted the correction of the 
Missal to a special committee, and after its ad- 
journment, to the reigning Pope, Pius V. 

This Pope assigned the duty to certain learned 
scholars, who, after a studious research and com- 

82 The Mass and Vestments 

parison of the various liturgical manuscripts in the 
Vatican library, and consultation with the experts 
in sacred Liturgy, submitted their report to the 
Pope. The report became the Roman Missal, and 
was published with a Papal Bull, July 14, 1570. 

What did this Pope order with reference to 
the Missal? 

He forbade any priest, subject to the Roman 
rite, to say or sing Mass otherwise than according 
to the formula of the Roman Missal, and he 
ordered that all other Missals be rejected and 
their use discontinued. 

What other Missals may be retained? 

Those Missals may, but not necessarily, be re- 
tained, which remained in uninterrupted use for 
two hundred years, from the time of their ap- 
proval by the Holy See to the adoption of the 
new Missal in 1570. Under this exception the 
Carthusians and Dominicans use their own 
Missal. Others, like the Franciscans, have a 
special mass-book called the Roman-Seraphic Mis- 
sal, because whilst conforming to the Roman 
Missal in the manner of saying Mass they are 
allowed special Masses for the saints of their own 
Order and also special Prefaces. 

What Popes further revised and corrected 
the Roman Missal? 

Clement VIII. (1604). As the Vulgate version 

The Liturgy of the Mass 83 

of the New Testament did not appear till 1590- 
1592, Pius V. followed in his Missal the reading 
of the version called Itala. Afterwards, without 
consulting the Holy See, certain publishers issued 
new missals adapted to the Vulgate. The Pope 
interdicted these missals, and restored the Roman 
Missal to its former integrity and gave copious 
comments on its rubrics. 

Urban VIII. ( 1634 ) adapted the Roman Missal 
to the Vulgate. 

Leo XIII. ( 1884) issued a Missal which he called 
typical of all other editions. It contains the fol- 
lowing: the text of the rubrics according to the 
changes made in 1882; the Masses for the Uni- 
versal church; the votive Masses conceded in 1883; 
the Diocesan and Provincial Masses allowed by 
the Holy See in their proper place; the chant to 
which all other Missals must conform; a new 
revision of the rubrics in harmony with recent 
decrees as late as 1897. 

What are the divisions in the Roman Missal? 
They are nine: 

1. The order of the Mass. 

2. Masses for the seasons. 

3. Special Masses for the saints. 

4. General form of Masses for saints. 

5. Votive Masses for mysteries, saints and 
various intentions. 

6. List of prayers to be said in the Mass. 

84 The Mass and Vestments 

7. Four Masses for the dead with their divers 

8. Various blessings. 

9. Votive Masses to correspond with the votive 
offices granted in 1883, for every day in the week. 

The Appendix is a collection of Masses allowed 
by an Apostolic Indult in a nation or diocese, 
city or church. 

Bibliography: Sacra Liturgia, Vander Stappen, 1902; 
The Mass, O'Brien; Les Anciennes Liturgies, Grancolas 
1699; Dr. J. R. Gasquet, Early History of the Mass, 1904; 
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Rev. Dr. Nicholas Gihr, 1903; 
Origines Liturgicae, Sir W. Palmer, 1845. De La Liturgie, 
Cardinal Bona, 1854. 



What is Sacrifice? 

The primitive and most necessary act of 
religion, whereby we acknowledge God's supreme 
dominion over us and our total dependence on 
Him. Its primitiveness and necessity are demon- 
strated in Exodus and Leviticus wherein God by 
express command directed that sacrifice should 
be offered to Him. Even if God had not issued 
these precise and positive orders, it is conceivable 
that nature and reason would have taught the 
need of sacrifice, because God is our Creator and 
on Him we depend for all we possess. Indepen- 
dent of all revelation and special divine guidance, 
it is only on the theory of a religious instinct or 
intuition that we can account for the practice of 
sacrifice among all nations, however barbarous 
and savage, acknowledging a Supreme Being. 

What is the derivation of the word Sacrifice? 

The word sacrifice, considering its derivation 
(sacrum facer e) may mean the doing of a 
sacred thing, the performing of a sacred rite, 
rather than the making a thing sacred or conse- 
crating it. 

86 The Mass and Vestments 

What are the leading notes of Sacrifice? 

(a) Sacrifice belongs to the class of religious 
acts known as cultus, or worship, by which man 
seeks to draw near to God. The rite of sacrifice 
by the consent of antiquity excelled all other 
ordinances in its power of approach to God. 

(b) It is distinguished from other expressions 
of religion by the material oblation in which it 
consists. It is closely allied to prayer. To the 
universal instinct of antiquity, prayer and petition 
were more efficacious when associated with a rite 
which made over to God, or shared with Him 
material things of a kind which ministered to 
human wants. 

( c ) From other acts in which material things 
are consecrated to God, sacrifice is distinguished 
by the circumstance that the sacrifice is consumed 
or changed in the offering. 

( d ) The effect of sacrifice seems to have been, 
by pleasing the Deity— to enjoy communion with 
Him, and thereby to be delivered from threatened 
evil and possess the coveted good. 

What is the origin of Sacrifice? 

There are two theories — one for a divine, the 
other for a human origin. The human origin pre- 
supposes either, that the religion of primitive man 
was Monotheism, and by intuition and reflection 
on the world and himself, he reached a knowledge 
of God and His attributes and the need of sacri- 

Sacrifice in General 87 

fice, or that his deities were mere nature-spirits, 
or ancestral ghosts, or fetishes, who needed some- 
thing which a worshipper could offer. 

The philosophers of the old world held as an 

"Primus in orbe deos fecit Timor." 
(Fear first made gods in the world). 

Cleanthes in Cicero ( De nat. Deor. Ill, 5 ) ac- 
counts for the universal belief in gods and their 
worship, "because the minds of men were terrified 
by lightnings, tempests, snow, hail, devastations, 
pestilence, earthquakes, sudden sinkings of the 
earth, portentous births, meteors, comets" and 
such like phenomena. 

In the Patriarchal period, when the primitive 
sacrifice began a growth which culminated in the 
complex rite of the Mosaic time, both in the com- 
plaisance with which God accepted sacrifice and 
the appointments and injunctions regulating it 
issued by Jehovah, there is abundant material for 
the divine origin of sacrifice. 

How many significations has the word 

Two: comprehensive and limited. In its com- 
prehensive significance it includes all good works 
done with the intention of honoring God and 
uniting ourselves to Him — such as faith, hope, 
charity, contrition, prayer, praise and all the moral 

88 The Mass and Vestments 

In its more technical and strict sense it signifies 
an external offering of a visible and sensible 
thing made by a priest or lawful minister, to 
acknowledge, by the destruction or change of the 
thing offered, the sovereign power of God and 
His supreme dominion over us and all creatures, 
and our total dependence upon Him. 

Why is Sacrifice designated "an external 
offering of a visible thing"? 

To distinguish it from the interior and spiritual 
offering by which we consecrate ourselves to God, 
and which is sometimes called a sacrifice. 

Why must a real Sacrifice be offered by a 
lawful minister? 

Because it is a public act of religion offered by 
and for the people, and as such, the person offer- 
ing it should be a public minister chosen or 
ordained for that purpose. St. Paul says: "Neither 
doth any man take the honor upon himself, but 
he that is called by God, as Aaron was." ( Heb. 
V. 4) . In the Old Law, Aaron and his descendants 
were chosen by God to offer sacrifice to Him. 
In the New Law, Our Saviour selected the Apostles 
and their successors for the same office. 

Why must the thing offered be "destroyed" 
or "changed"? 

Because thereby confession is made of God's 
sovereignty over life and death and over all 

Sacrifice in General 89 

creatures, which being made from nothing by His 
omnipotent will are entirely subject to His decrees. 
In respect to the offerer of the sacrifice and those 
whom he represents, his act is a formal ac- 
knowledgment of dependence on God and resigna- 
tion to His will. A mystical instead of a real 
destruction of the thing offered will suffice for the 
essential of a sacrifice. 

Is the element of destruction or change 
essential to Sacrifice'? 

The Sacred Scriptures seem to answer the ques- 
tion in the affirmative. The distinction between 
gifts and sacrifices is emphasized, and when God 
announced the law of sacrifice He explicitly di- 
rected that the thing offered should, in every 
instance, be immolated. When the victim was an 
animal, it was slain and its blood poured out or 
sprinkled, while at least part of the flesh was con- 
sumed by fire. When a meal offering was made, 
part of it had, in like manner, to be consumed by 

Is there any dissent from this view of destruc- 
tion as essential to Sacrifice? 

Dr. Paul Schanz, in his Manual of Catholic 
Theology, suggests a theory of sacrifice which 
eliminates the element of destruction and makes 
the notion of mere offering the fundamental sub- 
stance of sacrifice, and Bishop Bellord finds it in 
the feast following the sacrifice. 

90 The Mass and Vestments 

Primarily, what impulses lay behind Sacri- 

In the Gentile world the example is rare of a 
sacrifice intended as a vicarious offering for the 
life of a sinner. The impulse generally was one 
of imperfect recognition of a Deity, and of expia- 
tion. In the ante-Mosaic period the sacrifices of 
Cain, Abel and Noah seem to be more honorific 
of God than expiatory for sin, whilst the Mosaic 
sacrifices have a more predominant note of expia- 
tion than any explicit confession of dependence 
on God. 

By implication these Levitical sacrifices ac- 
knowledged the unity and sovereignty of God, 
and prophets and psalmists used phrases which 
clearly intimate that some sacrifices were intended 
to glorify Him. 

What is the significancy of the shedding of 
Blood in Sacrifice? 

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I 
have given it to you upon the altar to make 
atonement; for it is the blood that maketh the 
atonement by reason of the life." ( Lev. XVII, 11 ) . 
God accepted the life of the animal in lieu of the 
life of the transgressor — a foreshadowing of His 
acceptance of the life of His Divine Son for the 
eternal ransom of His creatures. Because He is 
the giver of life and death, and as the life of the 
flesh is in the blood, and the life dies with the 

Sacrifice in General 91 

drawing of blood, the most complete recognition 
of God, the Creator, is possible only in a sacrifice 
which consumes the victim's life by the shedding 
of its blood. "And almost all things are by the 
law purged with blood, and without shedding of 
blood is no remission." (Heb. IX, 22). 

What are the ends for which Sacrifice is 

(1) To honor God in His holiness, His sovereignty 
and all His perfections. The holocausts in which 
the entire victim was consumed by fire best ex- 
pressed this intention under the Mosaic Law. 

(2) Sacrifice is offered to God in thanksgiving, 
to render Him gratitude and homage for His gifts. 
The sacrifices called peace offerings in the Old Law 
were for this end. 

(3) It is also offered as an atonement to the 
justice of God for our sins and to move Him to 
be propitious to us. Such was the purpose of the 
ancient sacrifice called pro peccato ( for sin ) . 

(4) Sacrifice is offered to obtain graces and 
favors from the liberality of God, both for the 
needs of daily life and special emergencies. Whilst 
this form of sacrifice turns on self-interest, it also 
pays homage to God as the source and cause of all 
good, and by acknowledgment of our dependence 
on Him. This form of sacrifice was called impe- 
tratory, or the sacrifice of entreaty or petition. 

92 The Mass and Vestments 

How many kinds of Sacrifices were there in 
the Old Law? 

Four: The Holocaust; the Eucharistic; the 
Propitiatory and the Impetratory sacrifices. 

What is the meaning of Holocaust? 

Holocaust (holos, whole, kaustos, burnt) or 
whole-burnt offering was so called because the 
victim was wholly consumed by fire. 

What was the end of a Holocaust Sacrifice? 

To do homage to the supreme dominion of God 
over creatures, by which He can totally change or 
destroy them whenever He pleases, and with the 
same ease with which He created them. This 
protestation to God was best reflected in the total 
destruction of the victim. 

Why was fire used as an instrument in the 

(1) It consumed all that was superfluous and 

(2 ) The ascending smoke betokened God's pleas- 
ure and acceptance. 

(3) The light and glory of fire is a figure of the 
risen Christ, our Pasch. 

(4) God's oft-used symbol was fire. Moses saw 
Him in a burning bush. He led Israel through 
the desert-journey by a pillar of fire; the Com- 
mandments were given out of fire and smoke; 
the people heard that the God they worshipped 

Sacrifice in General 93 

was a consuming fire. As in the sacrifice the 
victim took the place of the man, the sinner, so 
fire took the place of God and represented Him. 
When the fire consumed the victims, it seemed as . 
if God whom it represented, united them to Him- 
self and participated in the sacrifices. It was the 
highest reach of a creature's worship in those 
olden days. He could not give his victims to God 
to be transmuted into Him, but he could surrender 
them to fire, thereby changing them into that 
which represented God most perfectly, as being 
the purest and noblest of the elements. 

How were the other Sacrifices performed? 

In the Eucharistic or Thanksgiving offering, 
and also in the Sin and Peace offering, the victims 
were not wholly consumed, but parts of them 
were reserved as a spiritual banquet for the priests 
and people. 

The victims in these sacrifices were living 
creatures, such as sheep, lambs, oxen, pigeons and 
other animals. When these were offered the 
sacrifices were called bloody, because the victims 
were slain and sometimes entirely burned upon 
the altar. 

There were also offered things without life, 
such as fine flour, oil, frankincense, unleavened 
cakes, wafers and the like. These were either 
burned or destroyed upon the altar. 



What was the character of these Sacrifices 
of the Old Law as to their permanency? 

All the sacrifices of the Old Law, together with 
the priesthood of Aaron, ordained of God for 
offering them, were only types and figures of the 
more perfect sacrifice and priesthood of the New 
Law and were therefore only temporary and pro- 

Who is the author of this Sacrifice and 
priesthood of the New Law? 

Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, "according 
to the order of Melchisedech." "The Lord hath 
sworn and will not repent; thou art a priest 
forever according to the order of Melchisedech." 
(Psalm 109.) 

Why is the exemplar of Christ's priesthood 
that oj Melchisedech? 

Because the ministry of Melchisedech was to 
offer up bread and wine in sacrifice, and Christ 
continues a priest and victim forever, making 
oblation of Himself in the sacrosanct sacrifice of 
the Mass under the same elements. 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 95 

What is the Sacrifice of the New Law? 
The Mass. 

What is the Mass? 

The sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, 
really present under the appearance of bread and 
wine, offered to God by the priest for the living 
and dead. 

What is of Faith regarding the Mass as 
defined by the Council of Trent? 

( 1 ) That it is a sacrifice in the true and proper 
sense of the word. 

( 2 ) That it is essentially the same as the sacrifice 
of the Cross, the only difference being in the 
manner of its offering.— (Session 22, Chap. II). 

The same Council ( Session 22, Chap. I ) makes 
this fuller comment: 

"Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, though He 
was once to offer Himself to God the Father by 
death on the altar of the Cross, there to work out 
our eternal redemption, nevertheless, because His 
priesthood was not to be extinguished by His 
death, at the Last Supper, on the night of His 
betrayal, by way of leaving to His beloved Spouse 
the Church a sacrifice visible, as human nature 
requires— a sacrifice that might be a representa- 
tion and re-enactment of the sacrifice that was 
once to be accomplished in blood upon the Cross, 
whereby the memory of it might endure to the 

96 The Mass and Vestments 

end of the world, and the salutary effect of it 
might be applied to the remission of the sins that 
are daily committed by us— showing Himself forth 
a priest appointed forever according to the order 
of Melchisedech, offered His Body and Blood to 
God the Father under the appearances of bread 
and wine, and under the symbols of the same 
things gave them to His Apostles to receive, 
appointing them at the same time priests of the 
New Covenant and commanding them and their 
successors in the priesthood to offer the same, 
which command He gave in these words: 'Do 
this in commemoration of Me,' as the Catholic 
Church has ever understood and taught." 

What is the identity between the Sacrifice of 
Calvary and of the Mass? 

The most complete identity in all save the 
manner of its offering. 

The Victim and High-priest are the same in 
both. The victim of the Cross was Christ. The 
victim of the Mass is the same. Christ offered 
Himself on Calvary. He also offers Himself in 
the Mass. On the Cross, however, Christ offered 
Himself in a bloody manner and actually died, 
His Blood being really spilt, whilst in the Mass He 
makes an unbloody oblation of Himself and dies 
only mystically, which signifies that death does 
not really ensue, but is represented in the separate 
Consecration of the bread and wine and this 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 97 

separate Consecration is a reflex of the separation 
of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ, and by 
consequence His death. 

At the Last Supper, on Calvary, and on our 
altars, victim and priest are the self -same and the 
sacrifice is the same. They are not three but one 
sacrifice. "Oblatus est quia voluit." He was a 
victim by His own will. By a self-willed surrender 
Christ laid Himself on the altar to be slain. The 
victim bound Himself and was ready. By a self- 
dedication He was doomed to death. The next 
day the sacrifice was completed by His actual slay- 
ing. In the Last Supper we have the ceremonial 
offering and consecration of the Victim before the 
immolation; on Calvary, the actual sacrifice, im- 
molation. In the Mass we have the Sacred Body 
and Blood of the same Victim ceremoniously 
offered up — the Blood that was shed on the Cross, 
the Body that was broken in the Passion. In the 
order of time, the Victim of Calvary stood mid- 
way between the Victim of the Last Supper and 
the Victim of the Mass. That is, the real im- 
molation intervened between the two mystic im- 
molations. And yet, without the sacrifice of 
Calvary, neither the Last Supper nor the Mass 
could be more than the figment of a sacrifice. 
The real made the mystic sacrifice possible. And 
thus the Mass is the commemoration, the myster- 
ious and bloodless representation, and the cere- 
monious offering of the sacrifice of the Cross, 

98 The Mass and Vestments 

whilst its liturgical language, vestments, altar, 
crucifix and structure bespeak the Death on the 
Cross, of which it is the symbolic commemoration 
and representation. 

Does it differ in any particular with the 
Sacrifice of the Cross? 

Besides the difference in the mode of its offer- 
ing, it is also numerically different. Christ is 
offered under sacramental, not His own species, 
and the Mass only applies the graces which the 
Sacrifice on the Cross originated. 

How is Christ's death represented by the 
separate Consecration of the Bread and Wine? 

Because our faith teaches us that the Holy 
Eucharist contains truly and substantially the 
sacred Body and Blood of Christ under the appear- 
ance of either bread or wine. The bread does 
not differ from the wine in the matter of its con- 
tent, as under each separate species are contained 
whole and entire the Body and Blood of Christ. 
They do, however, differ in their external appear- 
ance, and by the practice of the Church the bread 
has always been identified with the Body of 
Christ and the wine with His Blood. Both being 
separately consecrated, the bread first and then 
the wine, and lying apart, are mysteriously 
and as if emblematically representative of the real 
partition of Christ's Blood from His Body when 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 99 

He actually died on the Cross. Thereby our holy 
Victim is offered to God not as actually dead, but 
mystically or under the appearance of death. 

No theory here is satisfactory that does not 
include the Consecration under both kinds, or that 
excludes the Consecration of the chalice as super- 
fluous or non-essential. Christ died on the Cross 
by the separation of His Body from His Blood. 
That separation is emphasized and represented by 
the separate Consecration of the bread into the 
Body of Christ and the wine into His Blood. A 
necessary item for the right understanding of this 
theory is to observe what is present under either 
species "by virtue of the words" of Consecration, 
and what "by concomitance," according to the 

On the principle that "the sacraments effect 
what they signify" there is present in the Host 
by the words of Consecration the Body of Christ 
and no more; and in the chalice by the formula 
of Consecration the Blood and no more. But since 
the Body of Christ does not exist except in union 
with the rest of His sacred Humanity, wherever 
the Body is, there is the whole Christ. Thus the 
Body is under the species of bread in the Host by 
force of the words; the Blood of Christ, His soul 
and His divinity by concomitance. And similarly 
of the chalice. But, in regard of what is present 
by force of the words apart from concomitance, 
the first Consecration places separately the Body 

100 The Mass and Vestments 

of Christ, the second Consecration His Blood. 
This is called by theologians a "mystical" or sym- 
bolical separation, and consequently a mystical or 
symbolical slaying of Christ. Thus in the double 
Consecration, the death of the Lord is shown 
forth, although he does not actually die. 

Father Gabriel Vasquez, S. J. (1551-1604) 
seconded by Father John Perrone, S. J. ( 1794- 
1867 ) thus presents the matter: 

"Since by force of the words only the Body of 
Christ is put under the species of bread, and only 
His Blood under the species of wine— although 
under either species the whole Christ is present 
by concomitance— the Consecration of the two 
separate species thus performed constitutes a 
representation of that separation of the Body from 
the Blood which makes death; and this represen- 
tation is called a mystical separation. And the 
death itself is represented; therefore it is called a 
mystical slaying. Before the Consecration of the 
wine the Body of Christ is not represented as dead 
and immolated." (Vasquez, disp. 223, nn. 37, 

Very significant as bearing on this point are 
the words of Cardinal Vaughan in his pastoral 
for 1895: 

"It is to be noted that after the Consecration 
the priest addresses not one word to our Lord as 
there, but addresses only God, as God in Heaven. 
But at the Agnus Dei we begin to pray to 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 101 

Jesus Christ. This is said to be, because our Lord 
is treated after the Consecration as a victim slain 
and a victim is offered up, not spoken to. The 
placing of the particle of the Sacred Host in the 
chalice (immediately before the Agnus Dei) is 
thought to represent the reunion of the Body and 
Blood of our Lord in the Resurrection." 

7s the Mass only a representative Sacrifice? 

It is also a real sacrifice. The representative 
feature of it is the clew to its essence. It would 
be a repetition of the Reformers' error to say that 
its essence is merely to represent or commemorate. 
The essence is to be sought in the representation 
of the real death of Christ on the Cross, which the 
Council of Trent declares must be visible to the 
Church. This visible replica lies in the Consecra- 
tion of the Bread and Cup by separate acts of 
Consecration which, therefore, under their distinct 
and individual species represent the physical blood- 
shedding of Calvary, and constitute the Mass- 
essence. In recalling these facts we must avoid 
the error of declaring that Christ is only figura- 
tively and not really sacrificed. The sacramental 
presence is a real presence, and any change that 
affects that presence is a real and not merely 
a symbolic condition reacting upon our Lord under 
the species. 

It is true that in the Mass, Christ is not really 
slain, only mystically and symbolically; therefore it 
would appear the Mass is not a real but only a 

102 The Mass and Vestments 

mystical and symbolical sacrifice, which is no "true 
and proper sacrifice." 

To this it may be replied, that as a sacrifice is 
essentially a sign to God symbolizing His dominion 
and our sinfulness, such a sign may be offered 
sufficiently by a slaying which is symbolic only in 
a case where the fitness of things militates against 
the actual death of the victim; this is illustrated 
by Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac ( Gen. XXII-10-15 ) . 

Although Isaac was not actually slain, the sacri- 
fice was completed by the real slaying of the 
ram substituted for him. But there can be no 
substitute for Christ as Victim of our Redemption. 

Here Vasquez introduces an explanation which 
is tenable, though in all candor it is fair to admit 
it is vehemently opposed by other theologians. 
He insists that the Mass is a symbol of a slaying 
that has actually taken place, the symbolic rite 
being performed upon the very person of the 
victim there present, and admits that if Christ 
had never been actually slain the objection rel- 
ative to the unreality of the sacrifice would have 
some weight. He concedes that the mere mysti- 
cal slaying of Christ by the separate Consecration 
of His Body and Blood would not be adequate for 
a true and proper sacrifice, except in so far as it 
represents and reenacts in symbol the actual shed- 
ding of the Blood of Jesus Christ on the altar of 
the Cross. 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 103 

Thus the Mass is a sacrifice through^the Crucifix- 
ion and by representing the Crucifixion before God. 

Here are the words of Vasquez: 

"It is essential to a sacrifice, commemorative, 
without actual shedding of blood, that it should 
represent a sacrifice where there were actual shed- 
ding of blood and death of the victim. Wherefore 
if Christ had not died, this Sacrament would not 
be a Sacrifice." ( Disp. 223. n. 47 ) . 

Whilst it is true that theologians of high rank, 
like De Lugo and Franzelin, reject this solution 
as insufficient, the definition of Trent, J"the same 
Victim and the same Offerer, only the manner of 
offering being different," and St. Thomas Aquinas' 
comment, "The celebration of this Sacrament is a 
representative image of the Passion of Christ, 
which Passion is a true immolation of Him, and 
therefore the representation made in this Sacra- 
ment is called an immolation of Christ," (Summa, 
p. 3. q. 83, art. 1) constitute very formidable side- 
lights focused on the acceptableness of Vasquez' 

His opponents said: "A commemoration is not 
the thing commemorated: the commemoration of 
a victory is not a victory, nor is the commemora- 
tion of a sacrifice a sacrifice. The Council of 
Trent formally condemns as heretical the 
opinion that the Mass is but a 'bare commem- 
oration of the sacrifice of the Cross' and this 
opinion seems to fall within that condemnation." 

104 The Mass and Vestments 

Although it is true that the commemoration of 
an event is not the event itself, and the Mass is 
not the Crucifixion, yet the reenactment of a sign 
may well be itself a sign, and a sacrifice is essen- 
tially a sign to God of recognition of His domin- 
ion, whilst a victory is not in the same category 
with sacrifice for the reason that a victory is not 
essentially a sign. 

Furthermore, the Mass, notwithstanding some 
varieties of theological opinion can never be only 
a "bare commemoration" to any one accepting 
the Real Presence. The Reformers of the six- 
teenth century and their children placed bread 
and wine on the altar, and any rite practiced on 
these elements is fittingly described as a ''bare 
commemoration" which fell within the anathema 
of Trent. 

But the Catholic rite, being a commemoration of 
the sacrifice of Calvary, is performed upon the 
very Body which was pierced and broken there 
and the Blood which flowed there. The Victim 
offered planned it and designed and commanded 
it, and the living, present Christ is offered in it. 

The right phraseology is essential here. "A 
repetition of the sacrifice of Christ" is not the cor- 
rect way to describe the Mass. It is a re-presen- 
tation and a "re-enactment" and a "reflection" of 
the sacrifice of the Cross and a mystic representa- 
tion of the blood-shedding of Christ. 

The sacrifice of Calvary was offered once for 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 105 

all. There is no need of repeating it. All the 
Masses said throughout all the world shine like 
moons and planets about the central sun of the 
sacrifice of the Cross from which they derive their 
light and sacrificial power. We are not in the 
habit of calling these heavenly bodies repetitions of 
the sun. 

Christ Crucified, Christ in Heaven, Christ in the 
Mass are the three phases of the eternal priest- 
hood of our Blessed Lord. The Crucifixion is 
consummated forever and abides in everlasting 
efficacy. In Heaven, He makes intercession for 
us. In the Mass, He comes silently and humbly 
"a lamb standing as slain." In all these condi- 
tions it is the same God and Man who survives 
and helps eternally. That belief saves the Mass 
from the emptiness and inanity of a "bare com- 

Who is the High Priest in the Sacrifice of the 

Christ, Our Lord, is the invisible High-Priest 
and principal sacrificant. He, however, ordains to 
be offered up by His priests, for priests alone 
have the power of offering this Holy Sacrifice. 
At His Last Supper, Christ gave them this ineffa- 
ble power when He said to his Apostles, and, in 
them to His future priests: ''Do this in com- 
memoration of Me"— follow His example in the 
sacrifice He had just completed. This office consti- 

106 The Mass and Vestments 

tutes the priest the visible representative of Christ, 
ordained and commissioned by Him to perform in 
His name and authority- -and as representing 
Him in all the exterior part of this Holy Sacrifice. 

At what time in the Mass are the Bread 
and Wine changed into the Body and Blood oj 

At the Consecration in the Canon of the Mass. 
Plain, unleavened bread made from wheaten flour 
and water, round in form, and ordinary wine of the 
grape are the provision made. At the Offertory, this 
host or plain bread is offered to God; then the 
wine is poured into a chalice, mixed with a little 
water. It is yet bread and wine. Midway in the 
Mass is the Consecration, and when the priest pro- 
nounces over the bread and wine Christ's words 
at the Last Supper: "This is my Body;" "This 
is my Blood"— the bread and wine are changed 
into the Body and Blood of Christ— a conversion 
expressed by the term transubstantiation — or 
the change of the substance of the bread and 
wine into the substance of the Body and Blood of 
Christ— all the outward, sensible qualities of the 
bread and wine remaining the same as before 

By whom is this change effected? 

By the priest who offers the Mass, but in virtue 
of the power and words of Christ, whom he 
represents at the moment of Consecration. The 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 107 

grant of this power is embodied in Christ's com- 
mand: "Do this in commemoration of Me." Not 
of his own power then does the priest perform this 
miracle. It is by the power of God, expressed by 
a formula — the formula of the Last Supper, and 
communicated to the priest at his ordination. 

What are the ends for which Mass is said? 

(1) To give God honor and glory. 

(2) To thank Him for His benefits. 

(3) To obtain the remission of oui sins and, 

(4) All other graces and blessings through Jesus 
Christ. In this quadruple purpose it agrees with 
the four varieties of sacrifice in the Old Law. 

God is honored and glorified for His great power 
and majesty and because of His supreme dominion 
over us. Whilst nominally our thanks are humili- 
atingly feeble, in the Mass they are adequate be- 
cause spoken for us by our Redeemer. Through 
the Mass we beseech the remission of our sins and 
of the punishment due to them, and the Mass 
being a propitiatory sacrifice, like unto that of the 
Cross, inclines the Almighty to have mercy on us 
and heed the pleadings of His own Divine Son. 
Though of ourselves we are undeserving of any 
favor, yet because the Mass is a sacrifice of 7m- 
petration and because Christ offers Himself with 
us and for us to obtain what we need and what is 
best for us, we have in it a most capable advocate 
to make our petitions operative. 

108 The Mass and Vestments 

To whom is the Sacrifice of the Mass offered? 

To God alone. The common and accepted state- 
ment of a Mass of the Blessed Virgin, or St. 
Joseph, or St. Peter means only that a Mass is 
offered to God in honor of these saints to thank 
Him for the graces bestowed on them in life and 
the glory they now enjoy in Heaven. 

For whom can a Mass be offered? 

For the whole body of the Church, triumphant, 
militant and suffering. Mass is offered for the 
saints in Heaven in thanksgiving to God for their 
salvation; for the living on earth— both just and 
sinners — heretics and schismatics— -infidels and 
Jews; for the souls in Purgatory for a prompt 
release from their sufferings. 

For what other end is Mass offered? 

In the Mass, Christ continues, perpetuates and 
represents on our altars the sacrifice which He 
•once offered on Calvary. The Mass is a continua- 
tion of the sacrifice of the Cross because Victim 
and High-Priest in both cases are the same. 

What are the memorable qualities oj the 

It is the most sublime and august mystery of 
the Christian religion, the most ancient and con- 
tinuous religious rite known to men, and the most 
divine action falling within the performance of 
man, for the victim and principal sacrificer are 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 109 

God, and the joint co-operation of the divine and 
human in it— of the divine and human priesthood, 
is productive of infinite honor to God, of exalted 
joy to the angels and saints, of unsuspected bless- 
ings for creatures and of comfort and refreshment 
for the souls of the faithful departed. 

Is the Mass a real and true Sacrifice? 

It is, because: 

(1) It is an offering of some sensible thing, 
viz.: the Body and Blood of Christ under the visi- 
ble appearance of bread and wine. 

(2) It is offered to God; for God alone is the 
terminus of the Mass. 

(3) It is made through the ministry of a lawful 
priest. Priests alone are the ministers of this 

(4) The destruction, or change of the thing 
offered is effected— on the Cross, a real destruction 
by the shedding of Christ's Blood and His actual 
death; on the altar, a bloodless and mystical death, 
as expressed in the individual Consecration of the 
two different species of bread and wine. 

Wherein do Theologians place the essence of 
the Mass? 

Vasquez (1604) derived its essence from its 
figurative quality only. The sacred Body and 
Blood repose on the altar by the Consecration and 
they typify the Lord's bloody Sacrifice. 

110 The Mass and Vestments 

De Lugo (1643 ) thus writes: "Although in the 
Consecration the Body of Christ is not destroyed 
substantially, yet it is destroyed to human estima- 
tion because it receives a lower condition, a condi- 
tion which prevents it from performing bodily 
functions and converts it into food. This change 
suffices for a real sacrifice." 

Franzelin adopts this view and thus expresses 
it: "Christ by the ministry of the priest places 
His Body and Blood under the species of bread and 
wine, thus as it were humbling His most sacred 
Humanity from its natural functions and manner 
of existence to the state of food." 

If this latter view, without straining, may be 
interpreted as upholding the theory that the Mass 
is complete by the Consecration of the bread alone, 
or the wine alone, which seems questionable as 
pertaining to such exalted authority, then there 
is flaw in it, as such an opinion is at variance with 
tradition and the practice of the Church. 

What are the moot points among Catholic 


(a) In what consists precisely the sacrificial rite 
of the Mass? 

(b) How precisely the Mass shows forth the 
death of Christ. 

In what do nearly all the Theologians now 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 111 

(1) The sacrificial rite of the Mass consists pre- 
cisely in the Consecration. 

(2) Precisely in the Consecration does the Mass 
show forth the death of Christ. 

7s it demonstrable that the Mass is a Sacri- 
fice of the New Law? 

The Old and New Testament, the Liturgies and 
Tradition supply the proof that the Mass is the 
sacrifice of the New Law. 

What is the proof from, the Old Testament? 

The Prophet Malachi says: "I have no pleasure 
in you, said the Lord of hosts, and I will not re- 
ceive a gift from your hand. For from the rising 
of the sun even to the going down of the same 
my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every 
place there is sacrifice and there is offered to my 
name a clean oblation; for my name is great 
among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts." 
(Mali. 10. 11). 

This text predicts three results: 

(1) God will refuse to receive a gift from the 
Jews, which is synonomous with His refusal to 
accept their sacrifices, because "sacrifice" among 
the Gentiles is contrasted with "gift" among His 
chosen people, now on the eve of being repudiated 
and discredited. 

(2) That this clean and perfect oblation or sac- 
rifice would be substituted for the sacrifices of 
the Old Law. 

112 The Mass and Vestments 

(3) "And in every place there is sacrifice," for 
this new sacrifice will not only supplant the. 
Synagogue where it exists, but also be offered 
among the Gentiles where it exists not. 

Why is it concluded that the Mass was in the 
Prophet's mind when uttering this Prophecy? 

Because the sacrifice of the Mass best conforms 
to these predictions. 

How is the Prophecy interpreted by the 
enemies of the Mass? 

As if the Prophet meant the sacrifice of the 
Cross, or good works. 

Will it justify this interpretation? 

No, because the sacrifice of the Cross was 
offered once, and only in one place, whilst this 
sacrifice among the Gentiles is offered in every 
place, and from the rising to the setting of the 
sun. Neither can it be strained to mean the re- 
jection, not of Jewish gifts, but of Jewish good 
works, as if He preferred the Gentile allegiance, 
for the reason that God never rejects the good 
works of any of His creatures. 

What other vroof is supplied by the Old 

"The Lord hath sworn and He will not repent; 
thou art a priest forever acccrding t j the order of 
Melchisedech." ( Psalm 109. ) St. Paul ( Hebrew 
VIII) comments on this text. 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 113 

Melchisedech offered sacrifice in bread and 
wine. Christ sacrifices in the same elements only 
in the Mass. The Cross was the altar of the sac- 
rifice of His Body and Blood. The offering of the 
same in the Mass under the semblance of bread 
and wine constitutes Him "a priest forever 
according to the order of Melchisedech." 

And He was to be a priest forever— that is visi- 
bly discharge forever the duties of a priest in the 
Church. In the Mass alone, by the ministry of 
His priests who act in His name and in His power 
is this priesthood of Christ of the type of Melchis- 
edech perpetuated. 

What is the evidence of the New Testament 
as to the Sacrificial character of the Mass? 

At the Last Supper, in the institution of the 
Blessed Eucharist, Christ made offering of the 
Holy Sacrifice with His own hands. The essence 
of that sacrifice reposed in the separate Con- 
secration of the bread and wine, by which was 
represented His mystical death. Christ said over 
the bread: "This is my Body which is given for 
you." (St. Luke XXII, 19). "This is my Body 
which is broken for you." (1. Cor. XL XX. 24). 
And over the wine: "This is my Blood of the 
New Testament which is shed for many." ( St. 
Matthew XXVI, 28. St. Mark XIV, 24). St. Mat- 
thew adds: "Unto the remission of sins." Observe 
the use of the present tense, indicating His 

114 The Mass and Vestments 

reference to an offering He was at that time 
actually making, and not to another offering He 
intended to make at a future time. In His passion 
and death was the real effusion of His Blood. His 
death at the Last Supper was sacramental and 
mystical, and only the appearance of death, by the 
independent and separate Consecration of the 
bread and wine unto the remission of sins. Herein 
lies all the substance of the Christian Mass. 

7s there any other corroborative testimony 
from the New Testament? 

St. Paul thus writes: "The chalice of Bene- 
diction which we bless, is it not the Communion 
of the Blood of Christ? And the bread which we 
break, is it not the partaking of the Body of the 
Lord? Are not they that eat of the sacrifices 
partakers of the altar? But the things the 
heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not 
to God. You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord 
and the chalice of devils; you cannot be partakers 
of the table of the Lord and of the table of 
devils." (1. Cor. X. 16. 21 ) . Herein runs all the 
phrasing of sacrificial practices, and the evident 
purpose of the Apostle was to set up a contrast 
between the sacrifice of the Eucharist, or the Mass, 
and the pagan sacrifices, a contrast which would 
be unmeaning if the Eucharist or Mass be not a 
veritable sacrifice. 

Besides, appearing fitfully through the Epistles 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 115 

of the same Apostle, and with suggestive 
frequency are such expressions as: "Table of the 
Lord," "altar," "priest." "We have an altar, 
whereof they have no power to eat who serve the 
tabernacle." (Hebrews XIII, 10). All these are 
the essentials, vesture and paraphernalia of a 
sacrifice. An altar and a priest demand a victim 
and signify a sacrifice. 

"Partaking of an altar" suggests Communion. 

What is the voice of the Liturgies on the 
same point? 

All the most ancient Liturgies, Greek, Latin, 
Armenian, Syro-Chaldaic, Ethiopian and Coptic 
attest the origin of the Mass as dating from the 
age of Christ and the Apostles, and are full of 
expressions which convey the idea of sacrifice. 

What is the tradition regarding the Mass? 

There are two distinct phases of this tradition — 
one extending from the beginning and running 
down to the rise of Protestantism in the sixteenth 
century; the other, from that epoch until the 
present. The special characteristic of the first 
period is a simple and abiding faith in the identity 
of the sacrifice of the Mass with the sacrifice of 
the Cross. There was no theory or speculation 
about it. Early Fathers and medieval theologians 
assume this sameness between the two sacrifices 
as a first and self-evident principle, because re- 
vealed by God and taught by His Church. 

116 The Mass and Vestments 

Thomassin voices this universal acceptance in the 
century after the Reformation, when he says: 
"If it be established that the sacrifice of the 
Eucharist is the same as that of the Cross, it will 
be proved by the same means that in the Eucharist 
a true sacrifice is offered (for no one ever 
questioned the sacrifice of the Cross)." (De In- 
carnatione Verbi, 1. 10. C. 17). 

Therefore, to St. Ignatius Martyr, St. Cyprian, 
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ambrose, St. Chrysos- 
tom, St. Augustine, Pope Gregory the Great and 
a host of other witnesses, whose testimony is re- 
corded, the Mass is but the offering day by day, 
and often in the day, under the Sacramental veil, 
of the Divine Victim, once for all immolated on 
the altar of the Cross. 

What is characteristic of the second period 
of this Tradition? 

It was a time of speculation, theorizing and 
earnest investigation of all questions pertaining 
to the nature of the sacrifice of the Mass itself. 
In the ages of Faith the dominant note was to 
accept without question the altar as another Cal- 
vary, whereon was perpetuated the tragedy of the 
Cross. With the incoming of Protestantism, the 
very sacrificial character of the Eucharist was 
controverted, and as this dissent had to be met on 
its own grounds, theologians were forced to define 
the term "sacrifice" and prove that the Mass ful- 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 117 

filled this definition and contained within itself all 
the requirements of a sacrifice. 

Who led the assault against the Doctrine of 
the Eucharistic Sacrifice? 

John Calvin, of Geneva, the ablest and most 
astute of all the Reformers. 

What was the nature of his attack? 

He argued that if it be a sacrifice, "then the 
victim which is offered must be immolated; there- 
fore, if Christ is sacrificed in every Mass He must 
be cruelly put to death every moment in a 
thousand different places." Insisting on the essen- 
tial nature of sacrifice, he denied that it can be 
unbloody and retain the name. 

Who answered this objection and how? 

Cardinal Bellarmine ( De Controversiis ch. XXV) 
by replying that Christ is offered in the Mass, not 
in specie propria, or in his own human form, 
but under the form of bread and wine, and that 
the destruction is such as befits a victim offered 
under this guise. His contention was that con- 
suming or manducation, not slaying or the shed- 
ding of blood, lay at the root of the thought of 
destruction in the Mass. There has been a very 
recent revival of the same theory, which is known 
as the Banquet theory of sacrifice, as if the 
destruction or immolation implied in sacrifice was 
effected by Communion alone. 

118 The Mass and Vestments 

What may be said of the completeness of 
this answer? 

It seems to be inconclusive, because, unless the 
definition of sacrifice be recast there is no warrant 
for the statement that the eating of all, or any 
portion of the victim offered in sacrifice partakes 
of the character of a sacrificial destruction. The 
immolation to God came first. Therein lies the 
whole gist of the sacrifice. The feasting of man 
came after the real sacrifice and was no essential 
part of it. 

How should the objection be met? 
By insisting there is a destruction or change in 
the thing offered. 

Who first taught this essential of a Chris- 
tian Sacrifice? 

Albert the Great, who taught St. Thomas 
Aquinas. He writes: "Hence it includes two 
things: a victim slain, and the offering of it." (4. 
S. D. XIII. a. 23.) 

Who is credited with it? 

St. Thomas Aquinas, who says: "That is prop- 
erly a sacrifice when something is done to the 
thing offered, as when animals were slain and 
burnt, and bread is broken and eaten and blessed. 
It is called an offering simply when a gift is made 
to God and nothing is done to it, as money or 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 119 

bread is said to be offered when merely placed on 
the altar. Hence every sacrifice is an offering, 
but not conversely." (Q. 85, a. 3). 

Wherein is the destruction or change essen- 
tial to a Christian Sacrifice? 

Following the guidance of St. Thomas, as above 
foreshadowed, St. Liguori placed it in the Conse- 
cration and Communion jointly, with the larger 
share to the Consecration. The almost unanimous 
opinion of theologians, however, reposes it in the 
Consecration alone, because therein by the miracle 
of Transubstantiation and the consequent destruc- 
tion of the substance of the bread and wine lie all 
the requirements of a sacrifice. 

Bellarmine and De Lugo are lined up with 
Liguori and insist upon Communion as the final 
destruction of the victim akin to the fire in the holo- 
caust. In the sense that it is of divine appoint- 
ment, the Communion of the celebrant is however 
essential to the Mass and cannot even by the 
Church be dispensed with. The Mass was insti- 
tuted to provide a sacrifice and furnish a sacra- 
ment. The Consecration is the sacrifice; the 
Communion the sacrament. 

What then would be a sufficient reply to the 
Reformers' objection? 

(1) "For as it is appointed unto men once to die, 
so also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins 

120 The Mass and Vestments 

of many — and by one oblation He hath perfected 
forever them that are sanctified." ( Heb. IX. 27, 28. ) 

"I am first and last and the living One; I was 
dead and behold I am alive for evermore." 
( Apocal. I. 19. ) 

The sacrifice of Calvary will never have a fellow 
alike in every respect. His real death can never 
be repeated. His passion and death, once for all, 
by the fullness of their ransom, met all the exac- 
tions of God's justice with reference to sinners 
for all time. Whilst that sacrifice was infinitely 
meritorious, exceeding all possible demands, the 
sacrifice of the Mass is necessary for the applica- 
tion to individual souls of that affluence of expia- 
tory merit, of which the Death on the Cross was 
the cause. The Church has always taught that 
the immolation in the Mass is but figurative and 
commemorative, though real, of the unrepeated 
and unrepeatable sacrifice of the Cross, and the 
destruction indispensable to sacrifice is realized in 
the mystic, moral and veiled death as represented 
by the separate Consecration of the bread and 
wine. Thus the Mass is both the shadow and 
reality of Calvary. The real death which forbids 
renewal is mysteriously renewed in the Mass and 
its fruits given to human souls, not only because 
the death once endured is inexhaustible in its 
power to sanctify and save, but also because to 
God, who knows neither a yesterday nor to-mor- 
row, that death is always an ever-present reality. 

The Sacrifice of the New Law 121 

(2) Cajetan, the commentator of St. Thomas, 
and the last of the medievalists observes: "In the 
New Testament the sacrifice is not repeated but 
the one victim once offered continues in the state 
of immolation." The Death of the Cross is con- 
tinued in the Mass, which is therefore the show- 
ing forth of the Lord's death until He comes. 

(3) Melchior Canus thus discourses: "Let us 
concede the point that a perfect immolation de- 
mands a slain victim. We believe this to be 
essential to a true sacrifice. Now (they will 
argue ) we offer a living and breathing victim, for 
the Body in the Eucharist is one and the same 
with that which is in Heaven. Granted. But 
though Christ's Body in the Eucharist has life in 
it and the Blood is in the Body, it is not offered as 
having life in it, nor is the Blood offered as in the 
Body. The Body is offered as slain and the Blood 
as shed on the Cross. If the Victim of 
Calvary were to hang on the Cross before 
the eyes of the faithful in every place and 
time, we should need no memorial and rep- 
resentation of it. But because that visible im- 
molation, done and over with, is yet so acceptable 
to God and is as meritorious to-day as when Blood 
flowed from the Saviour's open side, therefore, do 
we truly offer now the same sacrifice. For us 
Christ renews the sacrifice after a symbolic 
fashion and sets it before us in a transcript of it. 
But this symbolism does not at all stand in the 

122 The Mass and Vestments 

way of our offering the self -same Blood shed on 
the Cross, just as if it were now being poured 
forth before our eyes." (De Locis Theol. 1 ib. 
XII, c. 12). 

7s Christ sacrificed in Heaven coincidently 
with the Mass? 

No, there can be no sacrifice in Heaven. 

We must always bear in mind that it is not the 
glorified Body of Christ that is in any wise phy- 
sically affected, but Christ in the Sacrament who 
is sacrificed. 

What is the office of Christ as mediator in 

To apply to individual souls the price of the 
ransom wrought in His Crucifixion. He pleads 
with the wounds of His Sacred Humanity and by 
the life that was laid down and taken up again 
for the salvation of the redeemed. 

Bibliography: The Eternal Sacrifice, Pere de Condren, 
New York, 1906; Moral Theology, Gury, de Ligouri, Peter 
Dens, Franzelin, De Lugo, Vasquez, Bellarmine, De Con- 
troversiis; Bible Dictionary, Hastings, Scribners; De Locis 
Theol., Melchior Canus; The Sacrifice of the Mass, Dr. 
Alex. Mac Donald, V. G., New York, 1905; Histoire du 
Sacrifice de la Messe, Vacant, Paris, 1896; Catechism, 
Doctrinal, Moral, Historical and Liturgical, Rev. Patrick 
Power, Dublin, 1905; Hierurgia, Dr. Rock; American 
Eccles. Review, Sept., 1905; Irish Eccl. Record, March, 
1906; New York Review, Dec- Jan., 1906; The Holy 
Eucharist, Bishop Hedley, 1907; Cambridge Conferences, 
1899, Joseph Rickaby, S. J. 



By what names was the Holy Sacrifice desig- 
nated in the Ancient Liturgical Books and in 
the Writings oj the Fathers of the Church? 

(1) Its most ancient name is that given in the 
Acts of the Apostles (ch. XX. v. 7) the "Break- 
ing of the Bread." 

(2) In the second, third and subsequent cen- 
turies it was called the Collects or Synaxis, because 
the faithful were gathered together as one body 
or congregation to celebrate it. 

(3) The name Dominicum was given to it, 
because it was a most august function by virtue 
of the institution of Christ and the precept of the 

(4) Liturgia it was called; that is a public 
ministry, because its celebration is a function 
eminently public and the centre of all Catholic 

(5) Toward the end of the third century or 
beginning of the fourth, the term Mass began 
to be applied to it in the Latin church. 

Who among the Fathers oj the Church first 
used this name? 

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (397). His re- 
ference to it under this appellation suggests, not 

124 The Mass and Vestments 

the coining of a new word, but a traditional desig- 
nation for it in general vogue before his time. 

Why were these strained and indefinite 
titles applied to the Sacrifice of the Eucharist? 

Because it was an age of persecution, and on 
account of Pagan unwillingness or incapacity to 
comprehend the true nature of the sacrifice. As 
a safeguard against hostile trespass and violence, 
the strictest discipline of secrecy was enforced 
and these names were employed to conceal the 
true nature of the holy mysteries from the unini- 
tiated, whether friend or foe. 

What is the origin of the word Mass? 

Liturgical writers are not agreed as to its 
origin. Some derive it from the Hebrew Massah, 
a debt or obligation; others from the Greek, 
Myesis, initiation, and others from an obsolete 
Mes or Messe which among the Scandanavians 
signified a banquet, and sometimes a sacrifice. 

The majority, however, favor its derivation 
from the Latin Missa or Missio, a dismissal, 
referring to the custom in the Christian Church 
of the first six centuries, when the Disciplina 
Arcani or Discipline of the Secret prevailed, of 
dismissing the Catechumens and Public Penitents 
after the gospel and sermon and before the more 
solemn part of divine service began. This two- 
fold dismissal of the Catechumens and Public Peni- 
tents at the beginning of the Mass, and of the 

The Mass 125 

faithful at the end, with the invitation, "Ite, 
Missa est" (go, it is the dismissal) gave the 
name of Missae or Missiones ( dismissals ) to the 
service. From the same cause is also derived the 
division known as the "Mass of the Cate- 
chumens," and the "Mass of the Faithful," the 
former extending from the beginning to the 
Offertory, the latter from the Offertory to the end. 
Missa as here used is not a participle of mitto, 
but a later Latin substantive synonomous with 
missio or dismissal. 

By what names was the Mass known among 
the Greeks? 

It was called Mystagogia, because a participa- 
tion in sacred mysteries; Synaxis or union with 
the Saviour; Anaphora, a lif ter-up of minds and 
hearts to God; Eulogia from its propitiatory 
character; Hierurgia, a sacred function; Myster- 
ion, because of the mysteries it contained; Deipnon 
or banquet, where Christ is consumed; Agathon or 
good by excellence; Teleion or perfection, as 
describing the spotlessness of the Victim; Pros- 
phora, guide to a happy eternity. These names 
are obsolete now and are found only in the sacred 
writings of the Greek Fathers of the early Church. 
Contemporaneously and exclusively the Mass in 
the entire East is now called Liturgia. 

Who celebrated the first Mass? 

There is limited agreement among specialists 

126 The Mass and Vestments 

that the first Mass was offered by St. Peter, on 
Pentecost, in the same cenacle where the Last 
Supper was held. 

Is the opinion unanimous regarding its 
celebration on Pentecost? 

The Venerable Mary d' Agreda, the Spanish 
Franciscan nun, assigns the day of the octave of 
the Feast, but the most common and probable 
opinion selects the very day on which the Holy 
Ghost descended. Did He come before or after 
the Consecration? Theophile Reynaud asserts He 
came after the Communion of the faithful, and 
St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople, inclines 
to the opinion that He descended before the Con- 

Why was not the first Mass offered until 

(1) Because it was desirable to receive the full- 
ness of the Holy Spirit before offering so holy a 

(2) Because the complete abrogation of the Old 
Law as to its priesthood was not consummated till 
Pentecost, and, therefore, it was inexpedient to 
introduce the new priesthood and sacrifice until 
that time. The Acts of the Apostles (Acts II, 
42, 46) seems to confirm this opinion, for we 
read therein, that before the descent of the Holy 
Ghost the Apostles "were all persevering with one 

The Mass 127 

mind in prayer," and after the descent, "the 
breaking of bread" — the celebration of Holy Com- 
munion and the Mass, inf erentially, are mentioned. 

What was the language of the first Mass? 

Three languages were in vogue in Judea in the 
years of Christ; Syro-Chaldaic, Greek and Latin. 
Syro-Chaldaic supplanted the ancient Hebrew after 
the Babylonian Captivity ( 586 B. C. ) as the ver- 
nacular. Greek became the official language after 
the conquest of Alexander the Great (332 B. C. ) 
and through the dynasty of the Seleucidae. The 
Latin tongue followed the Roman legions under 
Pompey the Great (63 B. C.) and Crassus (55 
B. C.) when they had wrested Palestine from the 
Greek dominion. The Syro-Chaldaic, or Syriac, 
or Aramaic, from Aram the fifth son of Shem, 
was demonstrably the ordinary, everyday language 
of our Blessed Lord. His gospel utterances like 
' 'Ephphetha, " be thou opened, ' 'Efoi, Eloi lamma 
sabacthani" — My God, My God, why hast Thou 
forsaken me, Abba, Haceldama, Golgotha, Mam- 
mon, Messias, Satan, Raca, Cephas, Martha, 
Tabitha belong to the Syriac. 

Eck, the German scholar, in the sixteenth 
century contended that the first and subsequent 
Masses for a time were said everywhere in 
Hebrew. The majority of the liturgical experts, 
however, dissent emphatically from this view and 
favor the theory that the first Mass in different 

128 The Mass and Vestments 

localities followed the local language — Syriac in 
Jerusalem; Greek at Antioch, Athens andJAlex- 
andria; Latin at Rome and in France and Spain 
and throughout the Roman dominion in the 

It is, however, impossible to demonstrate with 
any certainty whether the Apostles adapted the 
sacrifice to the language of the nations to whom 
they preached, or offered it in the Aramaic, Greek 
or Latin tongue. 

That these three languages, consecrated by 
their use in the inscription on the Cross of the 
Redeemer, were generally employed during the 
first four centuries is proved by the fact that all 
the Liturgies of that period are written only in 
these languages. 

What Language was first in use in the 
Roman Church? 

It is very probable that the Roman Church 
used the Greek language in the Mass until the 
third century. Vestiges of this usage are extant 
in ancient and contemporaneous Liturgies. Many 
of the terms in use in the service of the altar 
belong to that language, as, for instance, acolyth, 
deacon, presbyter or priest, episcopus or bishop, 
canon, baptism, Eucharist. In unison with these 
vestiges is also the custom in our day of chanting 
the Epistle and Gospel both in Latin and Greek in 
a solemn Pontifical Mass at which the Pope is 

The Mass 129 

celebrant, and of singing the Passion of our Lord 
in Greek on Good Friday in the Papal chapel. 

From the third and fourth centuries the Latin 
tongue was in general use in the Church through- 
out the entire West, which comprised Italy, Spain, 
Gaul, Germany and the British Isles. 

In how many different Languages is the 
Mass of to-day Celebrated? 

Twelve — Latin, Greek, Syriac, Chaldaic, Slav- 
onic, Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Ruthen- 
ian, Bulgarian and Roumanian. 

Where is Latin used? 

In the entire Western Church and in a few 
localities in the East. Latin has been the speech 
of the Church since its infancy and is therefore a 
sort of mother tongue. 

Where is Greek used? 

Among the Uniats, or Melchite Catholics of the 
East and West who are residents in Syria, Jerusa- 
lem, Russia, Greece, Europe and America. The 
Uniats are the followers of the Greek Liturgy 
who accept the jurisdiction and bow to the 
authority of the Holy Roman See. The Schis- 
matic Greeks rejoice in the title "Holy Orthodox 
Church of the East," and the Church of Rome 
humors their vanity or prejudice by calling those 
of the Greek communion who desert it for 
Rome, Uniats, or those united. They are also cal- 

130 The Mass and Vestments 

led Melchites from the Syriac Malko, a king, a 
title used for the first time at the Council of 
Chalcedon (451) to distinguish the orthodox wing 
led by the Emperor Marcian. Its synonym in 
the West is Papist. These Uniats have three 
Patriarchs resident respectively at Antioch, Alex- 
andria and Jerusalem. 

In addition to the Greek Tongue, what else 
does Rome alloiv? 

Rome permits the Melchite Catholics to use the 
three Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, 
and the Presanctified; to consecrate the Holy 
Eucharist in leavened bread; give Communion 
under both species; say the Creed without the 
"Filioque;" pour warm water into the chalice after 
Consecration, and their clergy to marry. This lat- 
ter concession needs to be thus qualified: —neither 
the so-called Orthodox Greek Church nor the 
Uniats allow marriage in Sacred Orders, which 
include the Diaconate and Priesthood. Within 
those sacred precincts it is permitted to no one to 
marry. A wife, however, wedded prior to the 
acceptance of the Diaconate need not be discarded, 
even though the husband go on to the priesthood. 
If she die before her husband, he cannot wed 
again without renunciation of his ministry. The 
members of the Greek hierarchy are always 
celibates and chosen from the monks. The prac- 
tice of celibacy in the Church is an item, not of 

The Mass 131 

Divine law, but of ecclesiastical discipline, and 
therefore a subject of Church adaptation to local 
or racial conditions. By Papal mandate the privi- 
lege of marrying is denied the Graeco-Italians. 

Where is the Syriac Language in use? 

Among the Syrian Melchites of the East and 
the Maronites of Mount Lebanon. These latter 
are known as the "Eastern Papists," so intense is 
their loyalty to Rome, and derive their name 
either from a holy monk, St. Maro, who lived the 
life of a recluse in the Lebanon range, or ' 'Moran" 
(our Lord). Their Liturgy is the very ancient 
one of St. James, and their language, very prob- 
ably, that of Christ and His Blessed Mother and 
the most of the Apostles. In deference to their 
antiquity and as a reward of their faithfulness the 
Maronites are privileged to retain all their primi- 
tive customs. They use incense at Low and High 
Mass, unleavened bread in the Holy Eucharist like 
to the Western Church, give Communion under 
both forms, except to the sick, read the Gospel in 
Arabic, the vernacular, after its Syriac reading, 
and elect their Patriarch by popular ballot to be 
sanctioned afterwards by Rome. 

Where is the Chaldaic Language permitted? 

Among the Babylonian Catholics, who are re- 
claimed from the Nestorians, and inhabit chiefly 
Mesopotamia, Armenia, Kurdistan, and whose 
Patriarch, with the title of "Babylonia," resides at 

132 The Mass and Vestments 

Bagdad. These Nestorians, from Nestorms, a 
Syrian Patriarch of Constantinople, a heresiarch, 
in the fifth century, are the most numerous 
Christian body in the East. Although they in- 
dignantly repudiate the name, it has clung to 
them since the General Council of Ephesus (431) 
condemned Nestorius for teaching that two per- 
sons tenanted the God-Man, Christ — a Divine and 
a human — instead of the true doctrine then and 
there proclaimed, of a single Divine person, and 
also because he denied the title of "Mother of 
God" to the Blessed Virgin. 

Where is the Slavonic Language allowed? 

Among all those of the Slavonic nation who are 
in communion with Rome, whether found in 
Turkey, Russia, Istria, Liburnia or on the seacoast 
of old Dalmatia. The privilege of a vernacular 
Liturgy was granted by Pope Adrian II ( 867 ) to 
prevent the Christian converts of SS. Cyril and 
Methodius from seceding to the Greek schismatics 
-confirmed afterwards by John VIII (872), In- 
nocent IV (1248) and Benedict XIV (1740). Leo 
XIII, through the Congregation of Rites (1898) 
decreed that only those churches, not individuals, 
could use the Slavic language where it had been 
in uninterrupted use for at least thirty years; that 
Latin and Slavic are to be taught in the seminaries, 
and that the language herein permitted is not the 
common vernacular ( Slavica vulgaris) , which may 

The Mass 133 

be employed in preaching, but the Palaeo-Slavic 
or ancient tongue. It is also called the Glagolitic 
dialect from Glagol, the liturgical alphabet of the 
Illyrian, Croatian and Dalmatian Slavs, in use 
since the ninth century, and older than the Cyril- 
lic alphabet which superseded it. 

Where is the Armenian Language found? 

Among the Roman Armenians of Armenia or 
Turkomania, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Turkey, 
Georgia, Greece, Africa, Italy, Russia and America. 

The Armenians, like the Maronites, use un- 
leavened bread in the Holy Eucharist. Their 
choicest liturgical books are published and printed 
by the monks of the celebrated Armenian monas- 
tery on the island of San Lazaro, Venice. 

The majority of Armenians are Monophysites 
( monos, one and physis, nature ) after Eutyches, 
who taught there was only one nature in Christ, 
the Divine, an error condemned in the General 
Council of Chalcedon (451). They are called 
Jacobites in Syria and throughout the East from 
James Baradai, a prominent reformer. Because 
the water mixed with wine of the Mass typifies 
Christ's humanity, these heretical Armenians dis- 
card its use to emphasize their doctrine that the 
Saviour's Divine nature absorbed every trace of 
His human nature. 

Who are the Copts? 

They are the Christian descendants of the 

134 The Mass and Vestments 

ancient Egyptians, unmixed with Arabic blood, 
speaking a language which they maintain runs 
back to the Pharaohs. 

How do they come by their name? 

Very probably it is an abbreviation of the 
Greek Aegyptioi (Egyptians). 

Religiously, how are the Copts divided? 

Into Monophysites, the larger number who are 
both heretical and schismatic, c.nd Roman Copts, 
who within a few years have returned to the 
Church in annually increasing numbers. 

How many Liturgies or Mass Formulas 
have the Copts? 

Twelve altogether. Nine have gone into disuse 
and only three— of St. Basil, St. Cyril and St. 
Gregory, are in practical use. 

What is the Language of these Liturgies? 
Ancient Coptic. 

Wliere is the Ethiopic Language found? 

It is the liturgical language of the modern Abys- 
sinians, who in discipline and church customs 
approximate the Copts. Like them the vast 
majority are still Monophysites, and only a frag- 
ment has been converted. 

It is worthy of mention that among the schis- 
matic East the Abyssinian ordinations are alone 
adjudged doubtful. This requires that a priest 

The Mass 135 

convert be reordained sub conditione. Essen- 
tially, however, the Abyssinian ritual and ordina- 
tion is accepted as valid, and followed strictly con- 
fers legitimate Orders. Carelessness in the officiat- 
ing bishop or Abouna is responsible for making 
the ritual supposedly inoperative. 

Where are the other languages in use? 

Arabic— In Syria and Egypt in only a quasi- 
liturgical sense. 

Ruthenian— Among the Ruthenians and Russ- 
maks, a branch of the great Slavic race, sharply 
defined from the Muscovites or Russians proper 
by their language, character and customs. They 
inhabit Galicia, North Hungary, Podolia, Volhynia 
and Lithuania. 

Bulgarian— In Bulgaria, which is an autono- 
mous principality tributary to Turkey and bounded 
by the Danube, Black Sea, Servia and the Balkan 

Rumanian— In Rumania, which comprises two 
States, Moldavia and Wallachia, called the Danu- 
bian Principalities. In the seventeenth century 
many Rumanians entered the Roman Church and 
by tacit consent, rather than by formal decree, 
were permitted the use of their vernacular in the 
Liturgy. In all this lingual variety, the Rumanian 
is the only tongue in modern usage employed in 
the Liturgy. 

136 The Mass and Vestments 

Are all these various languages really Ver- 
naculars in daily use? 

Except the Rumanian and Arabic, all the 
liturgical languages above mentioned are not the 
every-day speech of the respective nationalities. 
Some of them are so ignorant of the language of 
their Liturgies that the rubrics must be printed in 
another language, as for instance the Copts, 
whose Missal and ritual are annotated with direc- 
tions in modern Arabic. In each instance, the 
language of the Mass and the altar and the sacra- 
ments is an ancient idiom frozen into unchanging 
permanency, because it is the vehicle and organ 
of an immutable Church and sacrifice and ministry, 
and although once the popular speech, it has 
lagged behind, whilst the laws of growth govern- 
ing all spoken tongues have carried their modern 
namesakes far afield from this archaic, sacrificial 
and sacramental language. It is therefore true, 
that these supposed vernaculars may be as unintelli- 
gible to the races whose names they bear as Latin 
among an English-speaking people. 

Mention other precedents for the use of un- 
known tongues? 

The Jews always sing the praises of Jehovah 
in ancient Hebrew, which has been a dead classic 
for long ages. So unfamiliar are the people with 
it, that Targums or translations have been pub- 
lished to instruct them in its meaning. 

The Mass 137 

The Arabic of the Koran — a diction of un- 
approachable purity and melody — is a dead lan- 
guage for the Mahometan masses, and yet a 
translation of it into modern Arabic is proscribed 
as a trespass on its inviolable sacredness. 

Among the Hindoos, the sacred book of the 
Veda is a sealed fountain save to the learned 

The people of Java, Indo-China, Ceylon, Bali, 
Madura and the Japanese worshippers of Lama 
employ in their Pagan rites a language known as 
Bali, a dialect of the Sanscrit, a dead tongue for 
many years. 

Why does the Church of Rome use the Latin 

(1 ) It was the speech of her infancy— her mother 
tongue — the primitive expression of her teaching. 
As her doctrine is inflexible and unalterable, and 
her love of her own ancient days fervent and per- 
severing, as may be witnessed in many details of 
her ceremonial, the preservation of the Latin is 
advisable and necessary. Its sharp-cut accuracy 
and defmiteness of meaning, fixed in an unchang- 
ing death, as it were, makes it a peculiarly felici- 
tous medium for the scientific and dogmatic 
enunciation of doctrine. There is none of the 
looseness nor demoralization of the spoken tongue, 
where the decent word of to-day is by a public 
depraved taste often made the vehicle of the in- 
decent suggestion of to-morrow. 

138 The Mass and Vestments 

(2) The Church demands uniformity in her 
sacrificial and sacramental life. Her ideal is pos- 
sible only by the use of a common language. 

(3) A oneness of faith and belief is promoted 
by a oneness of tongue. A uniform language 
begets a uniformity of thought and thought-pro- 
cesses. Sameness of language creates a bond of 
union and a point of contact between different 
nationalities. East and West might not be di- 
vorced to-day if Rome had cast the Oriental 
Liturgies in Latin. The use of a national tongue 
lends itself to the disintegration of national 
churches. The same Mass in the same identical 
language throughout the West gives the wanderer 
a home-feeling in the Church, and establishes ties 
akin to those of a common lineage and encourages 
devotion and attention at the Mass. 

(4) The preservation and use of the Latin has 
made accessible and serviceable for multitudes 
speaking a variety of tongues a vast and valuable 
collection of literary treasures in Pagan and 
Christian learning. 

By what names is the Mass designated? 

The Mass is known as a Solemn High Mass, 
Simple High Mass, Low Mass, Conventual Mass, 
Bridal or Nuptial Mass, Golden Mass, Private Mass, 
Solitary Mass, Votive Mass, Dry Mass, Two and 
Three-faced Mass, Evening and Midnight Mass, 
Mass of the Presanctified, Mass of Requiem and 
Mass of Judgment. 

The Mass 139 

What is a Solemn High Mass? 

A Mass in which the Celebrant is assisted by 
deacon, sub-deacon and the other servers. It is 
called High because chanted in a high tone. It is 
sometimes called Grand because of its ceremonial 
display and the use of incense. 

When celebrated by a bishop and privileged 
prelates it is called a Pontifical Mass. 

What is a Simple High Mass? 

A Mass chanted like the Solemn Mass and, there- 
fore, sometimes called Missa Cantata (chanted 
Mass) but by a celebrant unassisted by deacon 
and sub-deacon and without incense. 

What is a Low Mass? 

A Mass devoid of all solemnity, said by a priest 
in a low tone of voice, whence its name, to dis- 
tinguish it from the High Mass, which is always 
sung. Exclusive of the silent parts of the service, 
it is read by the priest in an ordinary tone, alone 
or assisted by a server who makes the responses 
and waits on the celebrant. 

What is a Conventual Mass? 

The Mass which the rector and canons of a 
Cathedral are obliged to say daily after Tierce— 
the canonical hour of the divine Office. This is 
the strict interpretation of the term. In a general 
way, it is also the Mass said in a Convent where 
the Blessed Sacrament is kept, and in rural 

140 The Mass and Vestments 

churches having the same privilege. It is also 
called Canonical, Public, Common and Major be- 
cause of its distinct privileges over ordinary 
Masses. It is also synonomous with the Parochial 
Mass which is offered for the people on Sundays 
and Holydays, fixed by Urban VIII ( 1642 ). 

What is a Bridal or Nuptial Mass? 

The Mass known in the Missal as "Pro Sponso 
et Sponsa" — for bridegroom and bride— offered 
for a newly married couple for a happy and fruit- 
ful union. It is privileged in the sense that it 
may take precedence over feasts of higher rank, 
and is peculiar in some of its features. After the 
"Pater Noster" and before the last blessing, the 
current of the Mass is interrupted by special 
prayers recited over the attending couple. 

What is a Golden Mass (Missa Aurea ) ? 

The Solemn High Mass formerly celebrated on 
the Wednesdays "of the Ember days of Advent, 
in honor of the Mother of God, with an unusual 
ceremonial and choral display. The participants 
were the bishop and his canons and the members 
of the religious communities of the locality. 
Costly favors were distributed among the people 
who assisted at it. The church of St. Gudule in 
Brussels, Belgium, still retains this Mass, which is 
said on December 23, whilst some vestiges of it 
may be witnessed in a few of the churches of 

The Mass 141 

Gavantus attributes the name to the letters of 
gold which describe the Mystery, in whose honor 
the Mass was offered. 

What is a Private Mass? 

Rubrically, a Private Mass is a Low Mass as 
distinguished from a High Mass. By a stricter 
usage, it signifies a Mass in which the celebrant 
alone communicates, and it receives its name 
because it is celebrated in a private oratory or 
chapel, to which the people have not access. The 
Reformers denied the legitimacy of this Mass and 
denounced it as a novelty and an innovation. 
Cardinal Bona demonstrates that it was the 
practice of the early Church, and the Council of 
Trent ( Session 22, chap. 6 ) besides declaring that 
no Mass is strictly private, for the reason that it is 
the official act of a public minister of the Church 
performed in the name and for the benefit of all 
the faithful, also decreed (Session 22, Chap. 8) 
"If any one shall say that those Masses in which 
only the priest communicates sacramentally are 
illicit, and that hence they should be abolished, let 
him be anathema." 

What is a Solitary Mass? 

For many years the custom prevailed among 
the inmates of monasteries of saying Mass alone, 
without server or attendant. This was called a 
Solitary Mass. It is now prohibited to offer Mass 
without a server, except in special countries, like 

142 The Mass and Vestments 

the United States, where the privileges are 
broad enough to include a Mass, "without a server, 
in the open and under the earth, always, however, 
in a becoming place." 

What is a Votive Mass? 

The rubrics of the Missal prescribe a unanimity 
between the Mass and Office of the day within 
special limitations. A Mass which differs from the 
Office is called Votive, and is thus designated, be- 
cause said in accordance with the desire (votwn) , 
or intention of the celebrant, or member of the 
laity. It cannot be said save for reasonable cause 
and on days of minor rite, except in the case of 
Solemn Votive Masses — in re gravi — as for 
example, of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the 
devotion of the Forty Hours, or a serious 
emergency or circumstance. A permissive and 
wholly adequate reason for a Votive Mass is the 
special devotion of celebrant, or participant for 
some particular Mystery or saint. 

What is meant by the Divine Office of the 

A collection of prayers and lessons recited by 
persons in Sacred Orders as matter of serious 
obligation, unless dispensed, at specific hours 
every day. Substantially, it harks back to Apos- 
tolic times. It is also called "Canonical Hours," 
"Ecclesiastical Office," "Canonical Office" and 
"Breviary," {breve, short), because it embodies a 

The Mass 143 

pithy epitome of the Old and the New Testament, 
extracts from the Fathers and biographies of the 
saints. It is divided into seven hours: Matins 
and Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, Vespers 
and Complin. 

Why must the Mass conform to the Office? 

(a) Each day by the desire of the Church is 
dedicated to the honor of some saint, or the 
memory of some Mystery or divine work. That 
a complete service may be rendered, all the daily 
sacred functions, like the Office and Mass, are united 
to pay a full tribute of praise and honor. 

(b) The Office is a preparation for Mass, dispos- 
ing the recitant to that attentive and devout 
mind which is necessary for its proper offering. 

What is a Dry Mass? 

A Mass in which there is neither Consecration 
nor consumption of either sacred species. Colloqui- 
ally, it is the Mass of the Ordinandi (those 
awaiting ordination) said before the reception of 
Holy Orders to familiarize them with the proper 
celebration of the Mass. Historically, it was a 
serious service, long in vogue, which seems to 
have gone into disuse more by universal consent 
than special prohibition. There was always the 
danger of confounding it with the real Mass, and 
the further menace of supplanting it, because of 
the exemption of the Dry Mass from many of the 

144 The Mass and Vestments 

restrictions of time and place which impede the 
genuine Mass. It was also called Nautical ( Navilis) 
because usually said on shipboard, where often 
the disturbance of the elements made a real Mass 
impossible. It was also the consolation of the 
restrained sick, and prisoners barred from church 
attendance. It was sometimes offered in the 
evening or night for the repose of a soul just 
departed. It was customary to use all the sacred 
vestments. The bread and wine, chalice and 
prayers special to Offertory and Consecration 
were ommitted. All others, including the "Pre- 
face" and the last blessing were allowed. 

Pastor, in his "History of the Popes" (Vol. VII, 
p. 298, note) attributes this Missa Sicca, Dry 
Mass, to a struggle for a proper maintenance on 
the part of the lower clergy in Germany prior to 
the Reformation. 

What is a Two-faced or Three-faced Mass? 

Missa bifaciata, trifaciata (two-faced, three- 
faced) was another subterfuge, a cunning device 
to meet the wants of a needy or avaricious clergy 
by only a partially multiple celebration to secure 
the additional honoraria, and yet escape the 
penalties of the Church inflicted on those who 
frequently celebrated on the same day. It was a 
Mass repeated two or three times to the Offertory 
for a variety of intentions, to be concluded finally 
with one Canon, Consecration and Communion. 

The Mass 145 

What is Evening Mass (Missa Vespertina)? 

A Mass peculiar to Africa, as late as the fifth 
century, said by a priest, who was not fasting, on 
the evening of Holy Thursday, in memory of the 
institution of the Holy Eucharist. 

Akin to this was a limited custom of celebrat- 
ing Mass, by a fasting or non-fasting priest, at 
any hour whether of day or night when one of 
the faithful died. Councils of Carthage, Africa, 
and Braga, Portugal, condemned the custom. 

What is Evening Mass in the Eastern 

A Mass frequently and legitimately offered by 
a non-fasting minister for the sake of consecrat- 
ing a Host to be given as a Viaticum to the dying. 
The same is customary among the Copts. This 
belated Mass is necessary among all Orientals who 
use leavened bread in the Eucharist, as the 
Blessed Sacrament is not reserved in the Taber- 
nacle as with us, because of the danger of fer- 
mentation and corruption. 

What is Mid-night Mass? 

A Mass permitted in many chapels and oratories 
for the Christmas celebration. Because of abuses, 
the general public is excluded from the privilege. 
In the era of persecution, nightly Masses were the 
rule, and for many centuries a mid-night Mass 
was the adjunct of many festivals, which alone 

146 The Mass and Vestments 

survives with us at Christmas, and among the 
Russians at Easter. 

What is the Mass of the Presanctified in the 
Roman Church? 

The Mass said on Good Friday only. 

Whence does it derive its name? 

"Presanctified" signifies "consecrated before," 
and is employed to describe a Mass in which there 
is no Consecration of either element, and the Host 
consumed was consecrated on the day before, or 
Holy Thursday. 

What is the Mass of the Presanctified in the 
Gh°eek Church? 

A Mass offered on every day in Lent except 
Saturdays, Sundays and the Feast of Annunciation, 
wherein the Host consumed was consecrated in a 
previous Mass. 

When did this custom originate in the Greek 

It originated, at least, with the Council of 
Laodicea (314). 

Is Communion given at the same Mass in the 
Greek Church? 


What is a Mass of Requiem? 

A Mass celebrated for the dead, to cancel or 

The Mass 147 

shorten the sum of their indebtedness to God's 
justice, because of the sins of those who ulti- 
mately will be, and prospectively are saved. 
Purgatory, therefore, not Hell, is the exclusive 
goal of all its supplications and mitigations. Hell 
and its victims lie beyond even the infinite pur- 
view of a Mass. 

Hoiv many kinds of Requiem Masses are 

The Requiem of November Second, All Souls; 
Requiem on the occasion of a death, or a death and 
burial; a Third Day Requiem, three days after 
death or burial, in memory of Christ's tenancy 
of the tomb;a Seventh Day Requiem, because 
Joseph was mourned seven days by the Israelites; 
a Thirty Day Requiem, which stands for the days 
of Israel's mourning for Moses and Aaron; an 
Anniversary Requiem on the annual day of death 
or burial; the Daily Requiem (Missa Quotidiana) 
offered outside above privileged Requiems when- 
ever allowed by the rubrics. 

May these Masses be Celebrated on any Day 
of the Year? 

What determines their permission to be 
offered on any special Day? 

Death, the chant, a special indult, and the title 
of the Mass. 

148 The Mass and Vestments 

What Days exclude even a Funeral Re- 

(1) The more august feasts of the Church, viz.: 
Easter, Pentecost, Christmas, Epiphany, Ascen- 
sion and Corpus Christi. Also, the Immaculate 
Conception, Annunciation, Assumption, Nativity 
of St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph's feast, and All 
Saints. For Scotland, St. Andrew's, and for Ire- 
land, St. Patrick's day. 

(2) All Sundays to which a festival solemnity is 

(3) The three last days of Holy Week. 

(4) Eve of Pentecost and on St. Mark's day 
and Rogation days, if it would exclude the Bless- 
ing of the Font, or the Procession. 

(5) During the Forty Hours. 

(6) The more solemn local feasts, i. e. of the 
Patron of locality, or church, and Anniversary 
of dedication. 

(7) Sundays in parish churches, unless the 
funeral Mass may be said in addition to the usual 
parish Masses. 

The body not yet buried, but not present for 
some grave reason, like the interference of a 
municipal law governing contagious diseases, 
Mass for such is forbidden: 

(a) When the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for 
some public reason; 

The Mass 149 

(6) In the last three days of Holy Week; 

(c) On feasts of the first-class. 

If the burial occur on a day when a funeral 
Mass is not allowed, a Mass for such may be 
offered on any day except: 

(a) When the Blessed Sacrament is exposed 
for some public reason; 

( b ) In the last three days of Holy Week; 

(c) On Sundays; 

(d) On feasts of first and second-class; 

(e) On feasts of obligation. 

Mass of third, seventh, thirtieth days, anniver- 
sary, whether of death or burial and fixed by will 
or custom is prohibited: 

(a) When the Blessed Sacrament is exposed 
for a public reason; 

(6) On Sundays; 

(c) On feasts of first and second-class; 

(d) On feasts of obligation; 

(e) Within privileged octaves such as Xmas, 
Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost and Corpus Christi; 

(/) Privileged week-days like Ash Wednesday 
and all of Holy Week; 

(g) On the vigils of Christmas and Pentecost; 

(h) On Rogation days if there be a procession; 

(i) On suppressed feast days in parish churches 
having only one Mass which must be offered for 
the people. 

150 The Mass and Vestments 

These Masses may be computed from the day of 
death or burial, according to the Baltimore Ordo. 
Wapelhorst, however, teaches that an Anniversary 
must date from the death, or, at most, from the 
day following and quotes a decree of the S. R. C. 
21 July, 1855. (Compendium Sacrae Liturgiae, 
p. 52, n. 2.) 

There is no distinction as to privilege between an 
Anniversary fixed by endowment or a real Anniver- 
sary annually celebrated on day of death or burial. 

The Absolution after the Requiem Mass is 
optional unless the person making the offering 
demand it. 

These Masses offered on the third, seventh, 
thirtieth day and anniversaries have a very 
ancient origin, as they are mentioned in the Apos- 
tolic Constitutions of the first centuries. 

When is the Daily Requiem allowed? 

Only on days permitting a Votive Mass. By 
special indult a private Requiem is allowed in 
missionary countries on Mondays, even though 
double feasts occur, or Tuesdays if Monday will 
not permit it. The privilege travels no further 
into the week. This Mass has the indulgence of 
a privileged altar. 

What are the special features of Requiem 

Black vestments always. In the Mass, no psalm 
Judica me, or Gloria, or blessing of deacon 
who chants the gospel, or kissing of Missal, or 

The Mass 151 

Credo; water is not blessed; the Agnus Dei 
terminates in a plea for rest for the dead; there is 
no pax given, and the blessing at the end of the 
Mass is omitted. 

Does the color of the Vestments affect the 
Efficacy of the Mass? 

No. The Mass is always the same infinite sac- 
rifice, no matter the color of the vestments. 

What is the Mass of Judgment? 

A Mass said for the detection of crime and the 
establishment of innocence, at which the accused 
assisted and submitted to a variety of tests, with 
the presumption that the Lord would reveal guilt 
or guiltlessness. The Book of Numbers, fifth 
chapter, very probably suggested the thought 
underlying the Mass. 

Is a Mass of Judgment in vogue now? 
No. It disappeared many years ago. 

Was it ever sanctioned by the Church? 

The Church never gave it official sanction. It 
was permitted, however, because the practice of 
ordeals or tests under supposed supernatural sur- 
veillance was very general among the Saxon, 
Germanic and Scandinavian pagans, and as they 
credited the true God with an interest in the 
moral order after their conversion, they believed 
He would sustain and verify it by miraculous in- 
terposition. For a while it was thought perilous to 
interfere with this manifestation of excessive faith. 

152 The Mass and Vestments 

Did the Church condemn this Superstitious 
Mass finally? 

Yes. Through St. Gregory ( 592 ) , Council of 
Worms (829 ), Nicholas I (858), Stephen (1057), 
and other Popes and Councils. 

Is there a Special Indulgence annexed to the 
First Mass of a Priest? 

By a decree of the Sacred Congregation, January 
11, 1886, Leo XIII granted, on the usual con- 
ditions, a plenary indulgence to the priest who 
celebrated his first Mass — not the Ordination Mass, 
and the same to his blood relatives to the third 
degree, inclusive, who assist at the Mass. For the 
faithful generally who are present there is a 
partial indulgence of seven years and seven quar- 

What are the Appropriate Postures for the 
Laity attending Mass? 

Low Mass. 

All should kneel during the entire Mass, stand- 
ing only at the gospels. In some places the 
faithful stand at the Credo, if it is said, and bend 
the knee .with the priest at the words: "Et 
Homo factus est." Those unable to kneel 
throughout the entire Mass may sit after the 
Credo and until the Sanctus bell is rung, and 
again after the Communion until the last prayers 
are read. 

The Mass 153 

High Mass. 

All stand during the Asperges. They kneel 
from the beginning of Mass until the priest in- 
tones the Gloria, when they stand. They sit 
whenever the priest sits, and also when the 
announcements are made, and during the sermon. 
They stand during the singing of the prayers, 
except at a Requiem Mass. They sit during the 
reading of the Epistle until the Missal is carried 
over to the left of the altar. They stand at the 
Gospel, also at the Credo whilst the priest is recit- 
ing it at the Altar, and sit when he goes to the 
bench. They kneel when the officiant recites and 
the choir sings: ' 'Et incarnatus est de Spiritu 
Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et Homo Jactus est.'' 
They sit during the Offertory and rise when the 
priest begins the chant of the Preface. They kneel 
from the Sanctus until after the Communion. 
They sit whilst the priest purifies and covers the 
chalice. They stand during the last prayers, 
kneel for the blessing, stand during the last 
Gospel, genuflect at the "Verbum caro factum 
est," and stand until finished. 

Solemn High Mass. 

The same postures are observed as at a High 
Mass with these exceptions: they do not stand at 
the Gospel when read by the Celebrant, but when 
it is sung by the deacon, and they stand when 
the censer-bearer incenses the congregation. 

154 The Mass and Vestments 

Masses for the Dead. 

At Low Masses for the Dead the same rules 
are to be observed as at other Low Masses. 
At a High Mass they kneel from the beginning 
of Mass until the reading and singing of the 
Epistle, when they may sit. They stand at the 
singing of the Gospel. They sit at the Offertory 
until the Preface, when they stand. They kneel 
from the Sanctus until after the Communion, 
when they sit. They kneel at the last prayers 
and stand at the last Gospel. If the Celebrant 
sit, as at the Kyrie and the Dies Irae, the faith- 
ful sit also. If the Libera is said after Mass 
the people sit whilst the priest is vesting, but 
rise when he approaches the bier, and stand 
during the ceremony. 


The congregation will stand when the Celebrant 
enters the sanctuary; they kneel when he kneels 
at the altar to say the preparatory prayers. Then 
rise with him as he proceeds to the bench and 
remain standing until the first Psalm is intoned. 

They sit during the chanting of the Psalms. 
Stand when the Celebrant sings the Chapter. Sit 
during the Hymn. Stand at the Magnificat, the 
incensing of the Altar, singing of the prayer, and 
during the Anthem of the Blessed Virgin and the 
concluding prayer. 

The Mass 155 

Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. 

They kneel from the beginning to the end of 
the service. If the Te Deum is sung all stand, 
genuflecting only at the words, Te ergo quaesu- 
mus. When the Blessed Sacrament is replaced 
in the tabernacle, all rise. All persons entering 
or leaving the church whilst the Blessed Sacra- 
ment is exposed must genuflect on both knees 
and incline head and shoulders moderately. 


The people will stand when the Celebrant 
enters the sanctuary, and remain standing until 
the end of the Asperges. They do not kneel with 
the priest when he intones the Asperges or 
Vidi Aquam. Whilst he exchanges the cope for 
the chasuble they sit, and rise as the Celebrant 
approaches the altar to begin Mass. 

Bibliography: O'Brien, On the Mass; Baltimore Ordo; 
Gihr, The Sacrifice of the Mass; Benedict XIV, De Sacri- 
ficio Missae; Van Der Stappen, Sacra Liturgia; Klauder, 
Catholic Practice; Pastor, History of Popes, Vol- VII, 1908. 



How is the Efficacy of the Mass expressed? 

The Mass, according to the theologians and St. 
Leonard's, of Port Maurice, method of hearing it, 
has a four-fold efficacy. It is a sacrifice: 

(1) Of Worship. 

(2) Of Propitiation, or sin-offering foi the 
remission of sins. 

( 3 ) Of Impetration, or prayer for spiritual or 
temporal favors. 

(4) Of Thanksgiving for favors received. 

Was this Efficacy prefigured in the Sacri- 
fices of the Old Laiv? 

It was foreshadowed in: 

(1) The Holocaust, or whole-burnt offering, 
which had for its object worship. 

(2 ) The Sin offering for propitiation, or atone- 
ment for sin. 

(3) The Peace offering for Impetration, or 
entreaty for favors. 

( 4 ) The Eucharistic offering in thanksgiving for 
favors received. 

The Efficacy of the Mass 157 

Has the Church sanctioned this Identity 
between the Efficacy of the Mosaic Sacrifices 
and the Sacrifice of the Mass? 

The Council of Trent (Session XXII) decreed 
that the Mass "is that oblation which was pre- 
figured under the likeness of the sacrifices of the 
Law and, as their consummation and perfection, 
embraces all the efficacy which they signified." 
The Church, too, in the prayer of the Mass on the 
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost thus addresses God: 
"God who hath approved (or sanctioned) the 
variety of victims under the Law by the perfec- 
tion of one sacrifice." 

What is meant by the Efficacy of the Mass? 

( 1 ) It means that moral dignity which is 
inherent to it by nature, without any thought of 
the effects it produces. This dignity of the sacri- 
fice proceeds from the dignity of the Sacrificer 
and the value of the Victim. 

( 2 ) It also means that power which it has from 
its dignity to produce certain effects, both with 
reference to God and creatures, whether in the 
character of those who offer it, or those for 
whom it is offered. Efficacy, therefore, and fruits 
stand to each other in the relation of cause and 

(3) This efficacy may be considered in actu 
prima, that is, in the measure of the sufficiency 
which it has from its own inherent dignity 

158 The Mass and Vestments 

to produce certain effects, and also in actu sec- 
undo, or in the extent of the aptitude which it 
possesses by virtue of the will and institution of 
Christ to produce certain results. To the efficacy 
of the first type correspond effects which it can 
produce from itself. To that of the second type, 
effects which it produces from the appointment of 

(4) This efficacy can be intensively and ex- 
tensively infinite. An intensively infinite efficacy 
is that which produces an effect progressively 
greater or more perfect. An extensively infinite 
efficacy is that which in its effects is not exhausted 
by any number of persons to whom applied, but is 
equally potent whether offered for one or many. 

What is meant by the Fruits of the Mass? 

The results actually obtained through its in- 

Popularly, what is meant by the Fruits of 
the Mass? 

Popular usage restricts the fruits of the Mass 
to designate the effects of propitiation for the 
remission of sin, and of impetration, or petition 
for favors, the benefits of which are received by 
creatures, as distinguished from those of worship 
and of thanksgiving which are offered to God. 

Whence does the Efficacy of the Mass arise? 
The Efficacy of the Mass in general, that is to 

The Efficacy of the Mass 159 

say, without definite reference to any of its special 
effects or fruits, is derived from two sources: 

(a) The dignity and worth of the Victim 
offered in sacrifice, and 

(b) The dignity and holiness of the person or 
persons by whom it is offered. 

Who is the Victim offered in the Mass? 

The Victim is the Sacred Body and Blood of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, who is infinite in dignity and 

Does this oblation oj a Victim of Infinite 
Dignity make the Mass a Sacrifice of Infinite 

The theologians, with practical unanimity, 
answer in the negative. 

De Lugo (De Eucharistia, Disp. 19, Sect. 12, n. 
254 ) thus argues: 

"This fact of the infinite worth of the Victim 
is inadequate to establish the infinite value of the 
sacrifice, because the sacrifice, for its value, de- 
pends more on the one offering than the Victim 
offered. Otherwise, the oblation which the 
Blessed Virgin made of her Divine Son in the 
Temple would have an infinite value." 

Therefore, in estimating the efficacy of the 
Mass, we must consider by whom, or in whose 
name the sacrifice is offered. 

160 The Mass and Vestments 

By whom is the Sacrifice of the Mass offered? 

(1) It is offered primarily by our Lord Himself, 
who, acting through the ministry of the officiating 
priest, is both Priest and Victim. "Offering the 
same sacrifice, through the ministry of His priest- 
hood, which He offered on the Cross — the manner 
of the offering being alone different," says the 
Council of Trent. 

(2 ) It is offered by the Universal Church, whose 
minister the priest is, and in whose name and as 
whose representative, as well as in the name and 
as the representative of Christ, he officiates at the 
altar. "As betimes the emissary of some power- 
ful prince asks a favor from another prince, to 
whom he is accredited, and by virtue of this 
representative character obtains what he asks, 
and without it would be powerless, so also the 
priest is heard by God in his petitions, not merely 
as the minister of Christ, but because as the am- 
bassador of the Church accredited to God, he has 
official approach to God in his supplications." 
( Dicastillo, De Sacrificio Missae, Disp. 3, n. 62 ) . 

(3) It is offered by all those who individually 
take part in it by any personal act, such, for 
instance, as being present at its celebration, assist- 
ing the priest as minister or server, whether 
deacon or subdeacon or acolyte, preparing the 
altar for Mass, procuring its celebration by the 
giving of an honorarium to the priest, and the 

The Efficacy of the Mass 161 

like. In this class we are to include the priest, 
not as the representative of Christ or the Church, 
but merely as an individual. 

In what sense may it be said that the Mass 
is offered by Our Lord Himself? 

As to the full sense of the statement, theologians 
are not in agreement. They do, at least, concur 
in this sense, that the Mass was instituted by Him 
as a sacrifice to be offered in His name by His 
priests to the end of time; that from his merits 
and atonement its essential efficacy is derived, and 
that by His power is wrought, at the moment of 
Consecration, the change of substance in which 
the sacrifice essentially consists. 

Is there a more specific sense in which Christ 
may be said to offer the Mass? 

Theologians of the first rank, like Suarez, De 
Lugo and Cardinal Franzelin, teach that in every 
Mass, Our Lord, at the moment of Consecration, 
by a present individual act of His will, offers Him- 
self in sacrifice to His Eternal Father, and the 
"Idem nunc offerens" of the Council of Trent 
seems to concur in this opinion. 

How is the Mass offered by the Church? 

Not as if the individual members of the Church 
share in offering the sacrifice by any personal act, 
but that the priest, in offering it, acts not only as 
the representative of Christ, but also as the repre- 
sentative of the Universal Church, whose am- 

162 The Mass and Vestments 

bassador he is before God's throne to utter prayers 
of her own making, and obliging him to say these 
and no other, because they best express her wants 
and spirit. 

Is the Efficacy of the Mass as a Sacrifice of 
Worship and Thanksgiving Infinite? 

The ascertainable opinion of theologians seems 
to affirm that it is infinite when offered by the Lord. 

Is the Mass Efficacious as a Sacrifice of 
Impetration or Petition Jor Favors, Spiritual 
or Temvoral? 

Works or acts, as distinct from prayers of petition, 
have not of themselves the efficacy of Impetration. 
If done, however, in the service of God, they are 
provocative of His bounty, and if performed as 
auxiliary to a prayer or petition, they become in- 
directly efficacious for Impetration. In this sense 
is the efficacy of the Mass as a sacrifice of impe- 
tration admitted. 

In how many ways is the Mass Efficacious 
under this aspect? 

As accompanying and giving strength to prayers 
of petition, it 

(a) Obtains the benefits for which we pray. 

(b) It is meritorious of grace and glory. 

(c) It is a work of satisfaction, remitting or 
contributing to the remission of the debt of tempo- 
ral punishment due for forgiven sins. 

The Efficacy of the Mass 163 

Does this Triple Efficacy flow from the Mass 
as offered by Our Lord? 

As offered by Our Lord, or by the priest as His 
minister, the Mass is not in itself efficacious as an 
act either of merit or satisfaction. De Lugo 
says: "It is certain that Christ does not now 
actually merit or satisfy by the offering of the 
sacrifice, because He is not in the state of merit- 
ing or satisfying." 

In what sense is it a Sacrifice oj Satisfaction 
when offered by Christ? 

The Propitiatory efficacy of the Mass consists 
in its efficacy as a means by which the merits and 
satisfaction of His death on the Cross may be 
applied to the souls of men. 

Is it a Sacrifice of Impetration or Petition 
for Favors as offered by Christ? 

Independent of the question of the consistency 
of prayer offering, or the attitude of the suppliant 
with Christ's present state of triumphal glory in 
Heaven, it is the almost unanimous opinion of 
theologians, that He unceasingly intercedes for us 
with His Father, making known our wants, 
assuring us of His love and sympathy, and plead- 
ing for us before the throne of God by His blessed 
Humanity, and more urgently by His sacred 
wounds, which both confirm His title of Redeemer 
and the earnestness of His advocacy in our behalf. 

164 The Mass and Vestments 

This special intercession with the Father is the 
concomitant of every Mass by a distinct, personal 
present act of Christ. 

Furthermore, as a sacrificing priest is primarily 
the representative of Christ, the favors, - spiritual 
and temporal, for which he offers the Mass, are 
to be regarded as sought for not only by the 
priest, but also and much more by Him whom he 

Is the Mass when Offered in the name of the 
Universal Church productive of this Triple 

As offered in the name of the universal Church 
by the priest as her representative, the Mass is 
devoid of the efficacy of merit and satisfaction, 
though not of petition, because theology teaches 
that merit and satisfaction are the fruit only of 
individual, personal acts. "From the Church," 
says De Lugo (Disp. 79, Sect. II, nn. 5, 7) "the 
Mass does not receive the efficacy to merit or 
satisfy, because in offering it, the Church does not 
exercise a personal, actual responsibility, but 
behaves like a king who acts vicariously through 
his ambassador." 

Is this Three-fold Efficacy the Fruit oj a 
Mass when offered by the Priest and those who 
assist at it? 

As viewed in its lowest aspect, that is as a work 

The Efficacy of the Mass 165 

of supreme excellence, performed by the priest 
and those who individually co-operate with him 
in the offering, it has this three-fold efficacy. 

What is the Measure of the Efficacy of the 
Mass as a Sin offering or a Sacrifice of Pro- 

It is two-fold: 

(a) For the remission of the guilt of sin (reatus 
culpae ) whether mortal or venial. 

(b) For the remission of the temporal punish- 
ment (reatus poenae) due for forgiven sins. 

How does the Mass operate for the Remis- 
sion of the Guilt of Sin? 

There is a moral concursus of opinion that 
this effect is not produced, as by the sacra- 
ments, by a direct fusion of grace into the 
soul. Some theologians credit it with this power 
for the forgiveness of venial sins, and some 
few in reference even to mortal sins. One 
or two theologians teach that the aid derived 
from a Mass is an efficacious grace in the 
technical sense, "to \ which God in His infinite 
knowledge foresees the erring human will cannot 
help freely, but infallibly, responding.'' This last 
opinion, however, is refuted by the facts of nearly 
every day experience. 

The almost unanimous opinion of theologians is, 
that the Mass may forgive the guilt of venial and 

166 The Mass and Vestments 

mortal sins indirectly, or mediately, by the 
assistance of special graces obtained from God 
through its instrumentality, by virtue of whose 
inspiration and aid the sinner may perform those 
acts of penance without which the remission of 
the guilt of sin is impossible. 

Does this effect follow from the Mass as a 
Sacrifice of Propitiation or Sin-offering, or 
merely as a Sacrifice of Impetration? 

It is the result of the Mass as a sacrifice of 
Propitiation, and not merely as a sacrifice of 
Impetration, or a petition for spiritual favors. 

Keeping in mind these two different phases 
of the Mass, what is the specific mode of its 
operation relative to this effect? 

Some theologians recognize no special efficacy 
beyond that of Impetration in the Mass, when 
offered for the remission of the guilt of sin. Its 
Propitiatory value is restricted by them to the can- 
celling of the temporal punishment. Others 
discern in its operation a greater certainty, when 
offered as a Propitiatory sacrifice for the graces of 
repentance and conversion, than when offered in 
Impetration for favors temporal or spiritual. 

De Lugo explains its efficacy by a special mode 
of operation, which from the end sought dis- 
tinguishes it from mere Impetration. In this case, 
he says, the Mass has not for its special intention 

The Efficacy of the Mass 167 

the obtaining of graces. If it were confined to 
this result, its efficacy would be merely of Im- 
petration. Its object as a Propitiatory sacrifice is 
to appease God, angered by sin. The withholding 
of graces is one of the ordinary chastisements by 
which God punishes the sinner. The Mass, then, 
as a Propitiatory sacrifice, is offered to placate His 
anger, and thus to remove an obstacle which 
would otherwise hinder the operation of the sacri- 
fice, as offered in Impetration for the graces 
leading to the remission of sin. This view, he 
contends, is confirmed by the Council of Trent, 
when it says: "Verily, the Lord being appeased 
by this oblation and vouchsafing the grace and 
gift of repentance remits sins even of the graver 

As regards the remission of the temporal 
punishment, ivhat is the Efficacy of the Pro- 
pitiatory Sacrifice of the Mass? 

In this relation its efficacy is direct and im- 
mediate. The debt is cancelled wholly or in 
part, exactly akin to the effect of a plenary or 
partial Indulgence. 

Does the Mass also as an Impetratory Sacri- 
fice cancel temporal punishment? 

It is equally efficacious as an Impetratory sacri- 

168 The Mass and Vestments 

In measuring the fruits of the Mass, how 
must we distinguish primarily? 

We must discriminate between the efficacy and 
its effects, or fruits. By the efficacy of the Mass 
is meant its aptitude or capability to produce cer- 
tain results. By its effects or fruits we mean the 
results actually obtained. 

How must we distinguish secondarily? 

We must distinguish, to use technical phrases 
familiar to theologians, between an efficacy ex 
opere operato and an efficacy ex opere operantis. 

Hoiv can these phrases be explained by a 
reference to any of the Sacraments? 

We can illustrate, for instance, by the Blessed 
Eucharist. The fruit obtainable by the recipient 
falls under one or other of two heads. There is 
first, the efficacy of his personal acts of piety and 
devotion — their three-fold efficacy of impetration, 
of merit, and of satisfaction. There is secondly, 
over and above all this, the efficacy of the sacra- 
ment, as a sacrament, for the infusion of grace, 
both sanctifying and sacramental, into the soul. 
However much the acts and dispositions of the 
recipient conduce to the greater efficacy and the 
freer working of the sacrament, and even al- 
though, in certain cases, specific acts and disposi- 
tions are absolutely essential to its operation, to 
the extent, that in their absence the sacrament is 

The Efficacy of the Mass 169 

inoperative, it is no less true, and it is of Catholic 
teaching and faith, that the sacrament, as a sacra- 
ment, has an efficacy all its own — an efficacy 
which indeed requires for its operation the 
presence of those acts and dispositions, but which 
produces, with the concurrence of these, an effect 
altogether in excess of that which they could in 
any case or sense have obtained of themselves. 

Of the two sources of efficacy thus dis- 
tinguished, the former is technically known as 
proceeding ex opere operantis, or from the 
co-operation of the recipient, and the latter, ex 
opere operato, or from an innate and intrinsic 
energy of the sacrament, with which Christ has 
endowed it. 

Coincidentally with above observation, it is per- 
tinent to note that the increase of spiritual fruit, 
received by those who approach the sacraments 
with more perfect dispositions, comes not merely 
from this more faultless co-operation, ex opere 
operantis, but also from the sacrament, as a 
sacrament, ex opere operato. "From the same 
flame," says St. Thomas (3, quest. 69, art. 8 ) "he 
receives most heat who approaches nearest to it." 

How does this secondary distinction apply 
to the Mass? 

(1 ) The efficacy of Impetration or Petition for 

170 The Mass and Vestments 

(a) The resultant efficacy of the Mass as a good 
work, performed and shared by priest and people, 
is "ex opere operantis." 

(6) As offered by Our Lord, or by the priest as 
His minister, it is "ex opere operato." 

(c) As offered by the Universal Church, or by 
the priest as her representative, its efficacy is "ex 
opere operato" with respect to the priest, being 
in no-wise dependent on his worthiness, and "ex 
opere operantis" or an efficacy partially de- 
pendent on the more or less perfect co-operation 
of the members of the Church. 

(2) The efficacy of Propitiation or Sin-offering: 

(a) When considered in the light of a good 
work, performed by those who individually take a 
personal part in its offering, the efficacy of the 
Mass is "ex opere operantis" 

(b) When offered by Christ, or the priest as His 
representative, it is ex opere operato. 

(c) When offered by the Universal Church, it is 
exclusively an efficacy of Impetration and follows 
the solution of the preceding section under (c). 

Is the Mass a Sacrifice oj Infinite Efficacy? 
An Infinite Efficacy implies two things: 

(a) An infinite or unlimited effect. 

(b) An infinite or unlimited power of attaining 
it. In itself and without reference to actual 
effects, the Mass possesses this infinite power. An 

The Efficacy of the Mass 171 

infinite effect in the strict sense of the term as 
applicable to us is an impossibility. 

Theologians, however, interpret the term "in- 
finite" as conveying two senses: 

(a) Its strict sense (categorematice infinitus) 
in which it implies the absolute absence of all 
limitation, and in which, for instance, God is said 
to be infinite, or His eternity; and, 

(b) Its less strict sense (syncategorematice 
infinitus) in which it means merely indefinitely 
great, that is to say, finite, but greater than any 
other finite effect nameable or conceivable, or an 
efficacy to the operation of which no limit can be 
assigned, in the sense that whatever finite effect, 
however great, may be named or conceived, effects 
still greater and greater may be produced without 

The competency of numbers to express magni- 
tude furnishes an illustration. Whilst it is im- 
possible for numbers to express a sum total strictly 
infinite, they may represent an aggregate in- 
definitely great, in the sense that no matter how 
vast the sum named or conceived, a progressively 
larger sum is conceivable. The measure there- 
fore of the efficacy of the Mass is always in this 
second or less strict sense of the term. 

Hoiv does this explanation of an Infinite 
Efficacy apply to the Mass? 

(1) The efficacy of the Mass in itself , or in actu 

172 The Mass and Vestments 

primo, is intensively and extensively indefinite. 
The sacrifice of the Mass possesses the same 
efficacy as the sacrifice of the Cross, and as that 
was inexhaustible, so is this. Independent of the 
number of persons to whom applied, its potency 
is always full and overflowing. 

( 2 ) The efficacy of the Mass in actu secundo, 
or by the will of Christ, is extensively indefinite 
in respect to special fruits, for those who offer 
and who assist at the Mass, if no hindrance is pre- 
sented to these fruits. To share in this efficacy, 
no other condition is required than the offering 
and assisting at the Mass with a pure heart. 
Whether one or many, the fruits of the Mass are 
applicable to all, according to the measure of their 

(3) The fruits of the Mass designated as 
ministerial, which those receive for whom the 
Mass is offered, are finite. The limitations affixed 
to them are two-fold and arise from the number 
and the capacity of those for whom the Mass is 

Is the Mass of Infinite Efficacy when offered 
by the Church? 

As offered by the Church the efficacy of the 
Mass is only finite. The Victim offered is, indeed, 
infinite, but according to the dictum of De Lugo, 
the value of the sacrifice is measured rather by 
the one who offers, than by the Victim offered. 

The Efficacy of the Mass 173 

Suarez thus approves: (De Eucharistia, Disp. 
79, Sect. XI, n. 6) "This efficacy is based on the 
sanctity of the Church, to which God inclining, as 
that of a Spouse most pleasing, accepts the sacri- 
fice offered in her name and grants the petitions 
asked. The sanctity of the Church is, however, 
finite, and, therefore, the efficacy of the sacrifice 
offered in her name is commensurate." Besides, 
it is incumbent to remember that the efficacy of 
the Mass as offered by the Church is an efficacy 
of Impetration. 

Is the Efficacy of the Mass under this aspect 
Variable or Invariable? 

The almost unanimous opinion of the greatest 
theologians favors the view, that the efficacy is 
variable in the sense, that it may augment or 
diminish with the greater or less degree of sanctity 
among the members of the Church. A few 
theologians hold to the theory of an invariable 
efficacy, not because it is altogether independent 
of the personal holiness of individual Catholics, 
but because the Church here comprises all her 
members, past, present and future for all time. 

When offered by the Priest is the Efficacy oj 
the Mass Infinite or Finite? 

When offered by the priest as an individual, 
and by those who individually share with him in 
the offering, its efficacy is finite. 

174 The Mass and Vestments 

When offered by Christ is the Efficacy of the 
Mass Infinite? 

It is infinite in the strict sense as a sacrifice 
of Adoration and Thanks-offering. 

Theologians are so absorbed in the practical effects 
of the Mass bearing on Impetration and Propitiation 
that they have left its value for worship and thanks- 
giving unexplored. An "infinite efficacy" is defined 
in a strict and a less strict sense, as already explained 
(p. 171) and the statement is made that "an efficacy 
capable of producing an effect strictly speaking infi- 
nite is an obvious impossiblity." Is not the exercise 
of the power of the priest in consecrating a refuta- 
tion of this opinion? An infinite God at his sum- 
mons takes up His residence under the veil of bread 
and wine by the miracle of Transubstantiation. 

It adds to the difficulty of interpreting the ver- 
dict of the theologians that they do not always 
distinguish infinitude, nor reveal in what sense it 
is employed. The theologians of Salamanca held 
to the theory of an infinite efficacy apparently 
in its strict sense. Holding in abeyance the in ac- 
tu primo et secundo aspects of the case, and the 
limitations affixed to this efficacy by human in- 
capacity, there appears to be nothing unreasonable 
in the assertion that when the Mass is offered by 
Christ, through the ministry of His priest, in 
worship and thanksgiving to God the Father, the 
efficacy is infinite in its strict sense. Neither the 
God — Man who offers, nor the God who accepts 
the offering can be said to limit this infinite efficacy. 





Is its Efficacy Infinite as a Sacrifice of 
Impetration under this asvect? 

It is infinite in the modified acceptance of the 
term when offered by Christ, or the priest as His 
representative. The Impetratory efficacy of the 
Mass is its efficacy in aid of some prayer or peti- 
tion offered jointly with it. 

The axiom of Suarez: "Whatever is attainable 
by prayer may be obtained by this sacrifice; it 
can be offered the same as any just prayer may 
be heard, to which it gives the power of being 
efficacious" illumines this phase of the sacrifice. 
Its limit is, therefore, the limit of Impetratory 
prayer. Although it is unlimited as regards the 
purposes within the range of Impetratory prayer, 
its efficacy for the actual benefits prayed for will 
be greater or less according to the inherent efficacy 
of the prayer, in support of which it is offered. 

As an Impetratory Sacrifice is its Efficacy 
limited by the number of persons for whom 

176 The Mass and Vestments 

The question touches what theologians term 
the extensive infinitude of the Mass and in- 
cludes a decision as to whether its efficacy is 
independent of the number of persons for whom 
the Mass is offered, so that, if offered for two or 
more, it will be as efficacious as if offered for one. 
The answer seems to be in the negative, because 
theology teaches that the efficacy of prayer is 
ordinarily less when offered for a more valuable 
than for a less valuable favor, and less when 
offered for the benefit of a number of persons 
than when offered for one. Scotus, as quoted by 
Suarez, explains this conclusion by the following 
reason: "Prayer to be efficacious must observe a 
proportion with the favor sought, for the same 
prayer, caeteris paribus, cannot with equal 
facility obtain the difficult and the easy, the 
greater and the less benefit; nor for the same 
reason is it equally potent when offered for one 
or many, because the proper proportion is dis- 

Commenting on this explanation, Suarez ob- 
serves this can happen in two ways: 

(a) "On the part of the persons, when prayer is 
made for Peter, or for a group to which Peter 

(b) "On the part of the things prayed for, 
when we pray for humility in particular, or virtue 
which contains humility." 

Sacrifice of Impetration 177 

Does this imply that the Mass as an Impe- 
tratory Sacrifice is limited in its effects? 

The practical limitation determined by Scotus 
and Suarez arises not from any shortcoming of 
the efficacy of the Mass as a sacrifice of Impetra- 
tion, but from the restricted potency of the 
prayer in sustainment of which it is offered. 

7s there any way whereby this Limitation 
may be removed? 

If there is, then a Mass may be as efficacious 
for Impetration when offered for many benefits 
or persons, as when offered for one benefit or 
person. Suarez solves the difficulty and removes 
the limited efficacy by the suggestion, that if in- 
stead of one general prayer, a number of distinct 
special prayers be said, each being offered for 
some one special favor, or some one of the per- 
sons for whom we wish to pray. By this ar- 
rangement, each prayer thus offered will have the 
same efficacy as if it stood alone. 




Is the Efficacy qf the Mass as a Sacrifice of 
Propitiation Infinite in the restricted sense or 

The question includes these two results of the 

(a) An intensive (intensive) efficacy, in the 
sense that a person for whom it is offered may, 
by its application, obtain the remission of the 
entire debt of temporal punishment due for his 
forgiven sins; 

(6) An extensive (extensive) efficacy, which 
signifies that when offered for more persons than 
one, each will receive from it the same benefit as 
if it were offered for him alone. 

In reply to the question there are two opinions. 

The first is to the effect that the propitiatory 
effect of the Mass is in both respects infinite or 
unlimited, so that it is not only 

(a) Available for the full remission of any 
debt, however great, of temporal punishment due 
by the person for whom it is offered, but that it is 

Sacrifice of Propitiation 179 

(b) Equally effective to the same full extent 
for any number of persons, for whom it may be 
offered. This opinion is held by St. Alphonsus 
de Liguori and called by him speculatively 
or theoretically more probable. He attributes 
the same opinion to Suarez erroneously, for 
whilst this Spanish theologian may be in accord 
with him on the question of the efficacy 
of the Mass as a sacrifice of Impetration, he is at 
variance with him in his estimate of the potency 
of the Mass as a sacrifice of Propitiation, and it is 
under this aspect that it is here considered. 

The second opinion is, that its efficacy for both 
results is finite or limited, so that 

(a) If offered for only one person, it is potent 
only for the remission of a certain definite 
amount of temporal punishment; 

(b) If offered for two or more, the benefit de- 
rivable for each is proportionately diminished, 
inasmuch as it is divided between those for whom 
the Mass is offered. 

What is the relative standing of these two 
opinions now? 

The second, affirming a finite value is the 
generally accepted opinion. The first, advocating 
an unlimited satisfactory efficacy has found com- 
paratively scant recognition from theologians. 
Vasquez, its chief advocate, claimed for it the 

180 The Mass and Vestments 

authority of St. Thomas, but his claim is dis- 
credited by his own admission that St. Thomas' 
meaning is not clear. 

Hoiv does this theory of a Finite value 
harmonize with a Victim oj Infinite Worth, or 
a Great High Priest of Infinite Dignity? 

No theologian thinks of questioning that the 
Mass is, on those grounds, a sacrifice to which an 
infinite or unlimited efficacy might have been 
annexed by Our Lord, if He had deemed it ex- 
pedient to do so. 

The question at issue is not the possible efficacy 
of the Mass, but its actual efficacy, or, to use the 
technical language of the schools, it does not 
regard the sacrifice "according to its primary and 
remote, but according to its proximate potency," 
as Layman expresses it, "which it has from the 
institution and will of Christ." The question is, 
therefore, one of fact, which of the two opinions 
represents the efficacy actually annexed to this 
sacrifice by Our Lord. 

How then is this question of Fact to be de- 

It is obviously not to be determined by a priori 
considerations of any kind. Neither the Scriptures, 
nor the writings of the Fathers help on the 
solution of it. Our only guide is the sense of the 
Church, not as indicated by any formal decrees or 

Sacrifice of Propitiation LSI 

definitions, but as reflected in her actual practice 
or usage, ascertained by the mode in which the 
sacrifice is offered by her priests, and which, if not 
prescribed by her, has at least received the full 
sanction of her authority. 

What is the trend of this usage as bearing 
on the question at issue? 

(a) There exists the practice throughout the 
universal Church of offering the Mass for indivi- 
duals. If its efficacy is extensively unlimited, 
why limit it to one, when it is equally applicable 
to many? In the Missal, Masses are appointed 
for individuals, and prayers are designated for 
individual persons. This restriction is clearly 
unnecessary and unjustly privative, if the Mass 
is equally potent for all the faithful, as for one. 

(b) According to the current and accepted 
teaching, the intention of the sacrificing priest 
determines the application of the fruit of the 
Mass — to one, or to many. The quality of that 
intention and its power to restrict and direct the 
efficacy of the Mass are matters of general accept- 
ance and knowledge. If the theory of an unlimited 
efficacy for all remembered in the Mass is tenable, 
then it is incredible that Christ, or the Church would 
have left it to the will of the priest to determine 
whether its fruits would be applicable to one or 
many. It is equally inexplicable if Christ intended 
to make the Mass efficacious for all, independent 

182 The Mass and Vestments 

of the priest's intention, that such an inherent 
quality would be so long unknown to the Church 
and passing strange, that if known, it was not 

Cardinal Franzelin (p. 372, Ed. 1879) thus 
argues on this point: "The opinion which main- 
tains that the whole fruit of the Mass is the same 
for one or many, I cannot reconcile with the cer- 
tain doctrine which enjoins, that the priest, who 
accepts a stipend for a Mass to be offered for a 
particular person, sins not only against a precept 
of the Church, but also against justice, if he offered 
it for this individual and for many others. How, 
I ask, does he violate justice? Nevertheless, it is 
certain from the condemnation of Proposition Ten, 
by Alexander VII, and likewise from the decrees 
of the Sacred Congregation, that those priests err 
against justice and are bound to restitution who 
make pretence of satisfying many stipends by a 
solitary Mass." 

(c) An additional reason is thus presented by 
De Lugo (De Eucharistia, Disp. 19, Sect. XII, n. 

"The Mass has only the efficacy of cancelling 
the debt of sin in the measure of the appointment 
of Christ, in so far as it has annexed to it the 
expiatory merits of His death. This association 
of His merits is, however, conformable to a limited 
efficacy, because Christ wished that the Mass be 
of frequent celebration. If, despite this, the Mass 

Sacrifice of Propitiation 183 

possess an infinite value, one sacrifice would 
suffice for all the dead and living and, by conse- 
quence, all these pious foundations for many 
Masses, which the faithful appoint for the ease- 
ment of their souls, are superfluous and needlessly 

Hoiv does this Propitiatory Effect of the 
Mass bear on the Guilt of Sin? 

In the explanation already given, the issue 
involves only the Propitiatory effect of the Mass 
in its bearing on the remission of the temporal 
punishment. The reasoning employed therein is 
also pertinent to the question of its efficacy in 
forgiving the guilt of sin. 

De Lugo thus illumines this conclusion: 

"Wherefore, I infer that when the Mass is 
offered for many, as the effect of the remission of 
temporal punishment is divided among them all, so 
that all receive together what one alone would 
have received if said for him alone, so also this 
other expiatory effect, which belongs to the 
sacrifice is divided among all in such fashion, that 
in respect to each, God is less pleased than if the 
Mass were offered for one alone." 

7s there any limitation to this Propitiatory 
effect of the Mass? 

In the opinion most generally adopted by theo- 
logians, the propitiatory efficacy of the Mass is to 
be regarded as limited, even with the co-operation 

184 The Mass and Vestments 

of the most perfect dispositions. Supplementary 
to this, it is also a tenet of quite unanimous teach- 
ing that the fruit of propitiation to be actually 
obtained from the offering of the Mass depends, 
within certain limits, upon the dispositions of the 
person for whom the sacrifice is offered. Suarez 
rejects the opinion, and Vazquez regards this as the 
only limitation to the propitiatory efficacy of the 
Mass. It is upheld, however, by the concurrent 
authority of De Lugo, Vasquez, Dicastillo and 
many other theologians. 

De Lugo makes this comment: 

"Although Christ did not will to give the Mass 
an infinite efficacy, it was befitting that He make 
it productive of a finite effect, determinable by 
the dispositions of the persons for whom offered." 

Confirmatory is this opinion of St. Thomas: 

"Although the Mass by its efficacy suffices to 
satisfy for all penalty, it is nevertheless satisfac- 
tory for those for whom it is offered according to 
the measure of their devotion, and not for all the 



Is the Efficacy of the Mass Infallible? 

As in discussing the measure of this efficiency 
we had to distinguish the Mass under the double 
aspect of Impetration and Propitiation, so now in 
guaging its certainty of attaining definite results 
we must make the same distinction. 

7s this Efficacy Infallible as a Sacrifice of 

The test of practical experience and the con- 
current teaching of the theologians affirm, that 
the efficacy of the Mass as a sacrifice of Impetra- 
tion is not infallible. The terms of its efficacy in 
this respect are that it sustains and reinforces the 
impetratory effect of the prayer, in connection 
with which it is offered. Through the impetra- 
tory efficacy of the Mass we may hope to receive 
benefits, whether temporal or spiritual, for which 
mere unaided prayer would be altogether in- 
sufficient. There is no conclusive evidence to 
demonstrate that the efficacy of the Mass thus 
co-operating with prayer is infallible. Indeed, as 
an obvious conclusion, theologians contend that to 

186 The Mass and Vestments 

annex such an efficacy to the Mass would be for 
many reasons inconsistent with the ordinary 
sequence and operations of God's providence. 

Must not this conclusion be qualified by the 
character of the favors asked? 

The nature of the benefits prayed for does not 
alter this verdict, Take, for instance, the case 
where the grace of a sinner's conversion is be- 
sought. This would be a form of petition wherein 
the efficacy of prayer and the Impetratory efficacy 
of the Mass would be regarded as least subject to 
restriction. The fact is of facile and frequent 
proof that this sort of petition often goes unheard. 
De Lugo's reasoning is thus expressed: 
"As the petition of prayer is impeded by many 
hindrances, one of which is the order and de- 
mands of God's providence so also the Impetra- 
tory effect of the Mass. Without doubt, it is not 
expedient that the response, as if by an efficacious 
aid would be infallible, because a notable securitv 
and license of sinning would thereby be accorded 
to men, who would expect an efficacious aid to 
justification through the assured infallible help of 
the Mass." 

Is not this conclusion inconsistent with the 
Efficacy oj the Mass as offered by Christ? 

When the Mass is referred to as offered bv 
Christ, the purport of this statement is, that it is 
not only offered by the priest as His representa- 

The Fruits of the Mass 187 

tive, but also by Christ Himself by a personal act 
of offering. Even this view of it does not neces- 
sitate its infallible efficacy as a sacrifice of Impe- 
tration. For, as Suarez explains, it is only those 
prayers of our Lord which proceed from an 
absolute or efficacious desire of His will that are 
infallible in attaining their object. There is no 
reason to suppose that the power entrusted to the 
priest, as His representative, of offering the sacri- 
fice in Impetration for every legitimate object of 
prayer carries with it the control, if the expres- 
sion is permissible, of our Lord's absolute or effica- 
cious will. On the contrary, as Suarez expresses 


"This effect does not follow from the nature of 
the sacrifice, nor is it always expedient." 

Is there then no sense in which the Efficacy 
of the Mass of Impetration is Infallible'? 

According to the common opinion of theo- 
logians there is a sense in which its efficacy is in- 
fallible. Thus Cardinal Bona (De Sacrificio 
Missae, chap. I, sect. 3) teaches: 

"It is certain that the Mass is not devoid of this 
effect of Impetration, because although God may 
not vouchsafe the precise favor asked, He does 
grant some other favor which in the supplicant's 
condition, He knows to be more expedient." 




Under how many aspects may this Efficacy 
of Propitiation be considered? 

Two. It may be considered 
(a) In reference to the guilt of sin, and 
(6) In reference to the remission of the tem- 
poral punishment. 

What is the nature of this Etficacy for the 

remission of the Guilt of Sin? 

The efficacy of the Mass for the remission of 
the guilt of sin is two-fold: 

(a) Its efficacy in obtaining those graces by 
the aid of which the sinner may perform the acts 
of repentance necessary for the forgiveness of 
his sin; and 

(b) Its efficacy in appeasing God, and thus 
removing an obstacle that should otherwise im- 
pede the operation of the sacrifice as offered to 
obtain by Impetration the graces leading to 

The Fruits of the Mass 189 

Is the Efficacy of the Mass as a Propitiatory 
Sacrifice infallible far the Remission of the 
Guilt of Sin? 

In the sense that it infallibly secures the actual 
forgiveness of mortal or venial sin its efficacy is 
not infallible. 

7s the Efficacy of the Mass of Propitiation 
infallible in obtaining the Grace of Repentance? 

This efficacy is that of Impetration and is not 
infallible. Whilst not infallible, it is, however, 
more surely efficacious for the forgiveness of 
venial sin than for the forgiveness of mortal sin; 
it is also more efficacious when offered by the 
priest in his own behalf than when offered for 
another. This is the common law of Impetration. 

Is the Efficacy of the Mass of Propitiation 
infallible in appeasing God's anger with the 


This form of Propitiatory efficacy, which De 
Lugo assigns as the special efficacy of Propitiation 
for the guilt of sin, may be dealt with as in all 
respects similar to the Propitiatory efficacy of the 
Mass for the remission of temporal punishment, 
and its solution will be recorded in the questions 
and answers immediately following. 

7s the Efficacy of the Mass infallible for the 
remission of the Temporal Punishment due for 
far given sins? 

190 The Mass and Vestments 

De Lugo's answer is: 

"All the theologians teach that it is infallible, if 
there is no hindrance to it on the part of the one 
for whom the Mass is offered. Therefore, it is in- 
dubitable that this effect is infallible with respect 
to the living. It is also infallible for the dead, 
since the power of Christ, who instituted the 
sacrifice, includes both." 

What is implied in the Limitation, ''If there 
is no hindrance to it on the part of the one for 
ivhom the Mass is offered"? 

Suarez exhaustively discusses this question and 
his conclusions may be thus summarized: 

(a) The Mass is thus efficacious only as regards 
the baptized. 

(b) This efficacy is available for the souls in 
Purgatory, no less than for the living. 

(c) The state of sanctifying grace is an es- 
sential requisite. 

(d) No other disposition or condition is re- 

(e) While any venial sin is as yet unforgiven, 
the remission of the temporal punishment due for 
this sin cannot be obtained. 

What is meant by "no other disposition" is 

It means, that provided the person for whom 
the Mass is offered is in a state of grace, he will 

The Fruits of the Mass 191 

surely share this effiacy in the absence of any 
actual devotion, or good affection, or special co- 
operation. He does not need to know the Mass is 
offered for him, and even if he is asleep when the 
effect is applied, he will receive it. 

What is the significancy of limiting this 
Efficacy by an unfor given Venial Sin? 

It means that the effect applies to the remission 
of the punishment for all the other forgiven sins, 
but is not available for the consequences of this 
particular sin. Therefore, an absence of all venial 
sin is not an essential condition, for even a person 
who is actually committing a venial sin may par- 
take of this efficacy for his other forgiven sins, 
because he is presenting no obstacle through it to 
the penalties incurred by these forgiven sins. The 
temporal punishment, however, of the existing 
venial fault cannot be cancelled until the sin itself 
is forgiven. 

Is there any other limit to this Efficacy of a 
Propitiatory Sacrifice? 

There is a limit fixed by the disposition of the 
person for whom the Mass is offered, so that the 
effect produced may be proportionate to the more 
or less perfect co-operation. The opinion of St. 
Thomas, that although "the efficacy of the Mass 
in itself is all sufficient for the ransom of all 
punishment, in its actual result it is both for those 
who offer it, and those for whom it is offered re- 

192 The Mass and Vestments 

stricted to the measure of their devotion," 
determines the norma of this conclusion. The 
more common verdict of the theologians is in ac- 
cordance with what seems to be the plain meaning 
of these words of the Angelic Doctor. Thus De 
Lugo describes this effect, "as finite and de- 
termined by the disposition of him for whom the 
Mass is offered." Some few theologians, however, 
of high authority declare that the effect is 
independent of all question of co-operation or 
dispositions, and, adopting their view, Suarez in- 
terprets the restrictive judgment of St. Thomas 
as applicable, not to those for whom the Mass is 
offered, but to those who take part in its offering. 
This interpretation seems, however, to be ir- 
relevant and contradictory to the words of St. 

Is this Efficacy for the Remission of Temporal 
Punishment the same as for the Avpeasing of 
God's Anger? 

De Lugo declares the efficacy is similar in both 
instances. This efficacy is to be regarded on the 
one hand as limited, and on the other, as within 
those limits, infallible. "I have said," says De 
Lugo, "that this effect follows infallibly after the 
manner and according to the measure of a Divine 



To simplify, as far as we can, a complicated 
subject, it must be dealt with under three divi- 

(a) Mass as offered by our Lord, or by the 
priest as His minister. 

{b) By the Church, or by the priest as her 

(c) By the priest as an individual, and by all 
those who by any personal act take part in the 



What is the name and nature of this fruit? 

It is called the Fructus Specialis, or Medius — 
the special or middle fruit — middle, because it 
stands mid-way, as it were, between the priest's 
very special (specialissimus) fruit received by 
himself, and the very general (generalissimus) 
which is divided among the faithful generally. 

This fruit is both Propiatory for sin and its 
punishment, and Impetratory as an entreaty for 
favors. This is the fruit and benefit of a 
Mass which is entirely subject to the inten- 

194 The Mass and Vestments 

tion of the priest, and which he is bound to apply 
for the welfare of those for whom, because of 
a stipend or benefice, he is constrained to offer 
the Mass. 

7s this fruit ex opere operato, or operantis, 
according to the terms already explained? 

It is obviously ex opere operato. 

What follows from this principle? 

Whether of Impetration or Propitiation, the 
fruit so derived is entirely independent of the 
devotion, or personal holiness of the celebrant. 

In its application, is it also independent of 
co-operative dispositions of the person for whom 
the Mass is offered? 

It is not. The reasonableness of this negative 
will be established by a reference to the unbap- 
tized. They — and among the unbaptized, we 
classify the catechumens, who otherwise stood so 
near the faithful — are absolutely incapable of 
receiving the fruit of the Mass, when offered for 
satisfaction for sin. 

Are they incapable of receiving the Impetra- 
tory Efficacy of the Mass? 

Some theologians, notably Vasquez, so teach. 
De Lugo, however, in elaborate discussion argues: 
"This sacrifice, so far as it is of Impetration, or 
entreaty, or petition may be offered for any end 

The Fruits of the Mass 195 

meriting Divine approval, and therefore, not only 
for the unbaptized, but also for things without 
life, and things devoid of reason. Incredible is it 
that it may be offered for the health of a cow or a 
horse, and not for the spiritual welfare of an 
unbaptized son or friend." (Disp. 19, Sec. X, n. 
166). So too Mass for infidels, "not only indirectly, 
but directly for the spiritual good of these infidels, 
whether as individuals or as a community." (Disp. 
78, Sect. 11, n. 7-8). 

When offered for the satisfaction, or direct 
Remission of Temporal Punishment due to Sin, 
are there hindrances to its unqualified appli- 

There are limitations hedging the efficacy of 
every agent for the direct cancelling of temporal 
punishment, which affect the Mass and intercept 
its fruits. Thus: 

(a) The Mass is powerless to obliterate the 
punishment of a mortal or venial sin, whose guilt 
is still existent. 

(b) If the petitioner is in mortal sin, the Mass 
is also inoperative for the remission of sins pre- 
viously forgiven. In this instance, some theo- 
logians suggest a theory of revival, or reviviscence, 
when the obstacle is removed, of doubtful ac- 
ceptance. It is the concurrent teaching of 
theologians that reviviscence is not to be recognized 
in ordinary works of satisfaction, nor in in- 

196 The Mass and Vestments 

dulgences, but acceptable in the satisfaction 
enjoined in the Sacrament of Penance, as belong- 
ing to a very special class. 

(c) There is the hindrance known as "indi- 
gentia actualis" — real and actual need — which 
means that when the person for whom the Mass 
is offered has no punishment for forgiven sin to 
remit, the fruit of such Mass is inapplicable. The 
important sequel of this conclusion is to determine 
whether the fruit might not be reserved and 
made available for a subsequent need. Dicastillo 
thus sums up the denial of theologians: "They 
prove it from the example of Indulgences which 
are never granted for future sins, and from 
Sacramental satisfaction, which does not remove 
beforehand the penalties of sins to be yet com- 
mitted. That would be in a way to establish an 
impunity of sinning." (Disp. 3, dub. VI. n. 172). 

What is the status of those capable oj receiv- 
ing this Fruit? 

Neither actual devotion nor knowledge of the 
offering is required for its acceptance. "No co- 
operation is needed, but both the unknowing and 
the do-nothings can gain this fruit." (De Lugo, 
Disp. 19. Sect. X. n. 196 ) . Indeed, De Lugo holds 
the startling opinion, that the fruit of the Mass 
being directed by the celebrant's intention is so 
sure of its effect, that even the unwilling subject 
of it will receive the remission of his sin's punish- 
ment despite his objections. 

The Fruits of the Mass 197 

Setting aside these demonstrable but extreme 
views, it is more profitable to take as the measure 
of our fruitful participation in and concurrence 
with the Mass the more probable and com- 
mon opinion of theologians, that the net effect 
produced in any case will depend upon the 
more less perfect dispositions of the person for 
whom the Mass is offered. "It is made satisfactory 
both for those for whom offered and those offer- 
ing, according to the sum of their devotion." "It 
profits them more or less according to the measure 
of their devotion." (St. Thomas, 3, quest. 79, 
art 5, 7). 

Can the Church prohibit the application of 
this Fruit to any person or persons? 

The Church may prohibit, so as to make un- 
lawful, the application of this fruit to certain 
persons, as for instance, in the case of the excom- 
municated who are to be shunned or vitandi, and 
Suarez includes the tolerati, or less criminal ex- 
communicates in the same class. 

The Church, however, cannot by any restrictive 
order affect the validity of such application, if 
actually made by the priest. "If he offer as the 
minister of Christ and in His name, he does indeed 
that which is illicit by so doing, but validly, 
nevertheless, because in this action, he is no more 
dependent on the Church than he is in a valid 
Consecration. (De Lugo, Disp. 19, Sect. X, n. 185). 

198 The Mass and Vestments 

Does the Church by Precept or othemvise 
Command that a vortion of this Fruit be 
reserved and applied to all the Faithful? 

A few theologians teach that some residuum of 
the fruit of every Mass offered by our Lord, 
either by Church precept or Divine appointment, 
must be applied for the benefit of all the faithful. 
Vasquez is one of them, with the assertion that 
the fruit of Impetration, as well as satisfaction 
must be thus reserved. (Disp. 231, Cap. VI, n. 36). 
It is conjectured with some show of probability, 
that these theologians had in mind the fruit of a 
Mass offered by the Church, and not by our Lord, 
which alone is under analysis here. 

What is to be said regarding this opinion? 

(a) There is a practical certitude that the opinion 
is untenable as regards the fruit of satisfaction. 

(b) It is certain that the priest is obliged to 
apply this fruit in its entirety to the person or 
persons only, for whom by reason of the stipend 
he is obliged to offer the Mass. 

(c) As regards the fruit of Impetration, which 
is divisible without trespass on any of the rights 
of the person for whom the Mass is offered, there 
is no evidence that such an obligation exists. 

What is the general rule with reference to 
the application of the Fruit of the Mass? 

It is made by the intention of the celebrant, 

The Fruits of the Mass 199 

and therefore it is the fruit which is really 
applied, and not that which, for some reason, 
ought to be applied which is effective. 

What sort of intention is required? 

Neither a present actual intention, nor one 
virtually persevering is required. An intention 
previously formed and not recalled, known as 
habitual, suffices. Even that intention is enough 
which Lacroix calls interpretative, and which is 
more properly implicit habitual, when, for 
instance, through inadvertence, the celebrant 
makes no special appropriation of the fruit, and 
yet he would have discharged a definite obligation 
by it, or given it to himself, if he had remem- 
bered in time. Therefore, in the absence of a 
special or explicit intention, a general or implicit 
purpose to aid himself, or the souls in Purgatory, 
or satisfy for a stipend received, and for the time 
overlooked, will avail. The various explicit peti- 
tions accompanying the offering of the Host in 
the Mass are responsible for the very general 
opinion that some such intention is always the 
concomitant of every Mass. 

In the absence of every intention, ivhat is 
the fate of the Mass-Jruit? 

It remains unapplied. Perhaps it goes into the 
Church's treasury whence Indulgences derive 
their value. 

200 The Mass and Vestments 

With reference to the fruit of Impetration, 
this conclusion is indisputable. "Who asks noth- 
ing," says De Lugo, "cannot be said to impetrate 
or petition. Who in the Mass asks God for 
nothing, does not beg by this kind of entreaty." 

As regards the fruit of satisfaction, there is 
the questionable opinion of some theologians that 
it belongs to the celebrant in the absence of every 
intention. Why he should have a right prior to 
every one else is not quite clear. Besides, it is 
expedient to remember that the fruit here in 
question is not the fruit of a Mass by the priest, 
but that of a Mass offered by our Lord, which 
may alter this opinion. The unavoidable con- 
clusion seems to be, that the fruit in this instance 
remains reserved or unapplied. 



What is the special character of this Fruit? 

The fruit of the sacrifice when thus considered 
is of Impetration only. 

How is it applied? 

The terms and measure of its application may 
be discerned in the piayer at the Offertory of the 
Host — of the chalice — in the beginning of the 
Canon, and at the Memento. It is a fruit placed 
at the disposal of all the faithful. 

The Fruits of the Mass 201 

By what name is it known? 

It is called generalis, and generalissimus — 
(general and very general) . Being of Impetra- 
tion, it may be necessary to recall the principle of 
a shrunken efficacy, when shared by a number of 
persons or objects. 

May a Priest validly exclude any of the 
Faithful from this Fruit? 

The question has divided theologians. De Lugo 
maintains the affirmative; Suarez the negative. 
All, however, concur in the inordinate sinfulness 
of such an exclusion. 

How does the Church bar any Person from 
this Fruit? 

The Church forbids the application of this fruit 
to the excommunicated. 

What Class of Excommunicated? 

There are two classes of the excommunicated 
concerned: the shunned, or vitandi, and the non- 
shunned, or non-vitandi, or tolerati. 

(a) It is improper for a priest to directly offer 
this fruit to the first class. An indirect appro- 
priation is lawful in the same way that heretics 
and infidels may be prayed for. 

(b) An application of this fruit by the priest 
in the name of the Church to those of the second 
class was a prolonged cause of discussion among 

202 The Mass and Vestments 

theologians, with Suarez on the negative side and 
De Lugo favoring the affirmative, which has come 
to be generally accepted. 


What is this Fruit called? 

The fruit of the Mass distinctively available for 
the benefit of the priest is technically called 
specialissimus (very special). As to its value 
there exist some curious theological speculations. 
Some writers give its efficacy as equal to the 
fructus specialis, and others allow it only one- 
third of such efficacy. 

By what title is this Fruit obtained? 

Because the personal offering of the priest and 
of those who co-operate with him is endowed 
with all the ordinary efficacy of personal good 

What is the meaning of this Efficacy? 

It is threefold: Of impetration, merit and 

Is this effect divisible? 

It is. A person in sin cannot merit or satisfy 
for sin. He may, however, by a fervent prayer 
obtain infallibly the grace of repentance. His 

The Fruits of the Mass 203 

prayer, therefore, or other work, is invested with 
the efficacy of Impetration, exclusive, however, of 
merit and satisfaction. It is also possible for good 
acts to be devoid of their impetratory value, and 
yet possess the power of merit and expiation, as 
when the Church outlaws the excommunicated 
from a share in the Mass. 

7s the above Efficacy or Fruitfulness appli- 
cable to others? 

The efficacy of impetration and satisfaction, 
but not of merit, may be applied to the living, or 
to the souls in Purgatory. 

Who alone have the right to make this appli- 

Only those who have offered and joined in and 
helped the offering of the Mass. The priest, the 
acolyte, the sacristan who has prepared the vest- 
ments and the altar, the person for whom offered 
and the individual members of the congregation 
hearing the Mass have all acquired a special fruit 
because of their good work, and it is their privi- 
lege to deprive themselves of this fruit and trans- 
fer it to others, if they so elect. 

Is this Fruit ex opere operato or operantis? 

According to these terms already explained, it 
is chiefly ex opere operantis, although not ex- 
clusively, for the reason that its power of entreaty 

204 The Mass and Vestments 

and petition is derived substantially from the 
Holy Sacrifice offered to God, and in this special 
sense may be regarded as ex opere operato. 

How Jar does the Priest control this very 
special Fruit? 

To the extent that in the Memento, and in all 
other prayers of the Missal, he is free to give to 
persons, otherwise excluded from his prayers and 
Mass, as the representative of the Church, that 
portion of the fruit which is exclusively his own 
individual possession. 

Bibliography— Theologians: Vasquez, Suarez, De Lugo, de 
Liguori, Dicastillo, St. Thomas, Lemkuhl, Noldin, Gasparri, 
Peter Dens, Irish Ecci. Record, 1882-1883. 



How many parts are there in the Eucharist? 

Two: The sacramental oblation, or Sacrifice of 
the Mass, or representative commemoration before 
God of Christ's sufferings in accomplishing the 
work of man's deliverance, and the sacrificial 
Communion, or means of increasing the Divine life 
by worthily partaking of the same. 

What are the Essentials of the Eucharist? 

Bread and wine as the remote matter; their 
offering as the proximate matter, and the prayer 
that they may be accepted in Heaven in accord- 
ance with Christ's institution as the form. 

How are these materials prepared? 

The bread from pure wheaten flour and water 
to represent the offerers united among them- 
selves. The wine, the pure juice of the grape 
properly made, and not freshly squeezed nor yet 
acid, and a little water added, not enough to drown 
the wine, to represent the people united to Christ, 
or, as others teach, to typify the union of the 
Divinity and Humanity in one Divine Person, 

206 The Mass and Vestments 

Is this Bread leavened or unleavened? 

The Eastern Church always consecrated 
leavened bread. According to Mabillon, unleavened 
bread was always used in the West. Cardinal 
Bona and Sirmond, however, hold that up to the 
year 867, leavened and unleavened bread were 
used indiscriminately, but that unleavened bread 
became the rule by 1054. 

What proportion of Alcohol is allowed in the 

For many years the net proportion of alcohol 
both native to the wine and superadded was not 
to exceed twelve per cent. As many of the 
Spanish wines, however, have twelve per cent 
after first fermentation, and require an additional 
amount to prevent acidity in exportation, in 
response to a petition of the archbishop of Tarra- 
gona, the Sacred Congregation, August 5, 1896, 
made the maximum proportion of alcohol eighteen 
per cent. 

With respect to these Sacrificial elements 
ivhat was the practice of the early Church? 

The faithful donated all the bread and wine used 
in the service. 

Did they make gifts only of Bread and 
They also donated wheat and grapes. 

The Offerings for Mass 207 

When was this offering of materials for the 
Sacrifice made? 

At the Offertory, or at the conclusion of the 
Mass of Catechumens. 

What name was given to these offerings? 
They were called sacrifices or eulogies. 

Were all Christians allowed to make them? 

To insure a pure, safe offering, only those 
Christians were allowed to make them who could 
receive Communion. Therefore, public peni- 
tents, catechumens, criminals, public sinners, the 
excommunicated, usurers, matricides and those 
allowing their children to be baptized in heresy 
were excluded from the privilege. 

By what other appellation were these offer- 
ings known? 

They were also called "common" gifts, to dis- 
tinguish them from special alms and given by one 
or many of the faithful for an individual or 
multiple appropriation of the fruits of the Mass. 

What was the purpose of these Special 

As the common gifts were destined for the 
Sacrifice, the alms were given for the support 
of the clergy. 

When and how was the offering of Alms 

208 The Mass and Vestments 

Either before the Gospel, or the end of the 
Mass, or at the bishop's house. During the Mass, 
the bishop with his clerics collected the alms of 
the faithful. 

This offering was three-fold, corresponding 
with three distinct positions in the Church held by 
(1) laymen, (2) deacons, (3) priests. The people 
offered the bread and wine, corn or flour and grapes. 
The deacon selected what was needed for the 
actual sacrifice. The priest blessed and made 
oblation of it. In the beginning, the grain or 
flour was presented as raw material, and prepared 
as newly-baked bread for the Offertory. When 
the services began to be abbreviated before the 
fifth century, oblation-loaves (hostise) called 
obleys, ubbles or hosts already baked and prepared 
came to be offered by the people. 

The fifth Council of Aries (554) requires these 
loaves to be all of one shape like the pattern in 

The Council of Macon (585) commands all, 
both men and women, to make an offering of 
bread and wine every Sunday. 

The Council of Chelsea (787) directed whole 
loaves to be offered, and not detached pieces. 

Hincmar of Rheims (852) forbids any one to 
offer more than one oblation-loaf for himself and 
his family, and directing other gifts to be made 
before or after the service. 

The Offerings for Mass 209 

The Trullan Council (691) forbade grapes, 
and the Council of Braga (675) freshly made 

The bishop in person received the oblation- 
loaves as a credential they were presented by 
worthy persons, whilst the deacons received the 

When did the offering of materials for the 
Sacrifice cease? 

At the end of the sixth century the custom 
began to wane through a relaxing of the fervour 
of the faithful, and the abstention from frequent 
Communion. It was then restricted for a time to 
Sundays only and became the almost exclusive 
privilege of women. By the twelfth century it 
had ceased entirely except among clerics. 

After the establishment of the parochial system 
(1250 ) and the appointment of vicars to Collegiate 
churches, the people's offertory became obsolete 
and the oblation-bread and wine were either sup- 
plied by the parishes or the vicar. Late as 1569 
Maldonatus found in some places the old custom 
yet followed, as now in Milan. In certain parishes 
of the Diocese of Riez according to Le Brun (1716) 
a loaf, dish of meal and bottle of wine were 
offered at Masses for the dead. This was also the 
practice at Rouen in 1698 and in Wiltshire in 1638. 

What are the Jacts for the ofigin and growth 
of Alms or Stipends for Masses in vogue now? 

210 The Mass and Vestments 

St. Epiphanius (347), St. Benedict (543), Ul- 
trogotha, the queen of King Childebert (558), St. 
John, The Almoner, of Alexandria (686), St. Bede 
(679), bear witness for themselves and others that 
stipends were given for Masses. By the eighth 
century the custom was so generally established 
that a council in Germany, presided over by St. 
Boniface (742) decreed that "every priest in the 
Lent must report to his bishop the profits arising 
from baptisms and Masses to forestall abuses." 
To the eighth century, Mabillon, Thomassin, Van 
Espen and Guiard ascribe the origin of stipends 
for private Masses, and by the twelfth century 
the practice became universal. To restrain the 
affluent influx of these stipends, Pope Eugene II, 
in the Council of Rome (862) and Leo IV in 
another Roman Council (853) inhibited priests 
from accepting all the alms offered them for 
Masses. Alexander II in the eleventh century 
refers to a practice of many daily Masses by the 
same priest for the sake of the stipend and pro- 
scribes it as an abuse. 

What were the reasons for these special Alms 
for Masses? 

(1) The early fervour which prompted the 
offerings of wine and bread for the sacrifice had 
chilled, and in lieu of them the faithful who 
aspired to a share in the Mass substituted money 
offerings. Some were not satisfied with this joint 
or corporate share of the sacrificial efficacy and 

The Offerings for Mass 211 

gradually the practice developed of giving money 
to the priest outside the Mass for a special appro- 
priation of its fruits. 

(2) Another cause was the persuasion that a 
Mass was more efficacious when offered for one or 
a limited number than when applied to all the 

(3) Still another reason was the relaxation of 
popular piety, which in its heyday prompted at- 
tendance at all the more solemn services, and in 
its decline turned away from the more protracted 
and sought the shorter private Mass, and, especially, 
the Votive Masses, which according to the Gallic 
rite were offered for special intentions. 

( 4 ) The new custom, as might be anticipated, 
was very acceptable to the priests and received 
their cordial encouragement. Whilst under the 
old regime that part of the material oblations not 
actually used in the sacrifice was converted and 
applied to the use of the clergy, the new form of 
alms, given directly to the priest, realized its pur- 
pose by a less circuitous route. 

By what names is this offering known? 

It is called a tax, stipend, intention, offering, 
honorary and eleemosynae, or alms, which last 
name is preferred. 

Did these Alms Jor Masses evoke opposition? 

John Wyckliffe (1324-1384) the English heresi- 
arch, first condemned them, and Protestants 

212 The Mass and Vestments 

generally, following the lead of John Calvin, 
(1509-1564) are in opposition to them. A few 
Catholic writers treat them with disfavor and 
recommend the restoration of the material obla- 
tions of the primitive Church, and the notorious 
Synod of Pistoja (1786 ) convened by the Grand 
Duke Leopold of Tuscany sounded a note of cen- 
sure. A Council of Toledo (1324) forbade the 
exaction, but permitted the free offering for Masses. 

What is the present status of the question? 

A priest is justified not only in accepting, but 
in exacting a stipend for the celebration and ap- 
plication of a Mass. 

WJiat arguments are available in support of 
this custom? 

(1) The universal usage of the Church from 
the eighth century. 

(2) There is a Divine and natural sanction for 
the custom: 

(a) Christ said: (Matthew, Chap. X, v. 10) "For 
the laborer is worthy of his food;" St. Paul (1 Cor. 
Chap. IX, 7, sq.) subjoins: "Who serveth as a 
soldier at any time at his own charges (expense)? 
Who planteth a vineyard and eateth not the fruit 
thereof? Who feedeth a flock and eateth not of 
the milk of the flock? Or doth not the law also 
say these things? Know you not that they who 
work in the holy place eat the things that are of 
the holy place, and they that serve the altar par- 
take with the altar?" 

The Offerings for Mass 213 

(b) By the dictates of natural justice no one is 
obliged to spend himself gratuitously in the service 
of another. Hence, by a strict obligation, the 
faithful are bound to support their clergy who 
give an equivalent of spiritual service, and over 
against this duty of support lies the right to exact 
it, for both are correlative. 

(3) The fourth Council of Lateran (1215), the 
Council of Trent (1545-1563, Session XXV) and 
Pius VI in condemning a contrary opinion declared 
by the irregular Synod of Pistoja (1786) approved 
the custom. 

Does not the exaction oj Stipends for Masses 
savor of Simony? 

Simony is the commutation of a thing spiritual 
or annexed unto spirituals by giving something 
that is temporal, or a deliberate act, or a premedi- 
tated will and desire of selling such things as are 
spiritual, or of anything annexed unto spirtuals 
by giving something of a temporal nature for the 
purchase thereof. 

It is simoniacal to exact pecuniary remunera- 
tion for the intrinsic labor involved in the perform- 
ance of a spiritual service, whether of Mass or the 
adminstration of the Sacraments, for the intrinsic 
labor is identified with, and annexed to the 
spiritual result. To anticipate and safeguard 
scandal and abuse, the Church could prohibit the 
acceptance of any pecuniary offering for any 

214 The Mass and Vestments 

spiritual function, the violation of which would be 
simony by ecclesiastical enactment. The priest, 
however, does not demand a stipend for the Mass, 
nor for the intrinsic and immediate labor of it, 
but for the extrinsic labor such as the fast, the 
chant, the journey, and also as an item for his sup- 
port, to which he is entitled. 

Has not the Council of Trent (Session XXII) 
prohibited Stipends? 

The original draft of the decree contemplated 
an approximation to that of the Council of Toledo 
(1324), prohibiting the exaction of a stipend, but 
on the remonstrance of the bishop of Naxos, one of 
the Clyclades in the Aegean Sea, who con- 
tended that it was justified by the right of self- 
support, the decree was cast in its present form, 
which permits a stipend. In this decree, there is 
a reference made to a species of avarice in con- 
nection with "Novse Missse" or the first Mass of 
a new priest, who, pursuant to an old custom, 
collected the alms of the faithful by leaving the 
altar and going about the church. Gregory XIII 
(1573) forbade departure from the altar, but al- 
lowed the newly ordained celebrant from his place 
at the altar to face the people and accept their 
alms. This privilege demonstrates the right of a 
just stipend for a first Mass, which is not cur- 
tailed or denied for other Masses. 

The Offerings for Mass 215 

How then are we to understand the instruc- 
tion given to Bishops by the Council of Trent 
that they prohibit all pacts and conditions of 
traffic, and all importunate and exorbitant 
demands for money? 

It has reference only to simoniacal transactions 
and superstitious practices and all usages foreign 
to the law and discipline of the Church. 

Can a rich Priest exact a stipend? 

The fact of his wealth does not exempt the 
faithful from the duty of supporting the ministry, 
nor contravene his right to exact it. St. Paul asks 
"who serveth as a soldier at his own expense?" 
and neither Pontiff nor Council discriminates 
between rich and needy priests. 

When many priests celebrate jointly is each 
entitled to a stipend? 

In the Eastern Church, concelebration is the 
ordinary, though not the exclusive method of say- 
ing Mass, which signifies, that associated with the 
bishop or other chief celebrant, are one or many 
others who in unison consecrate the Host and 
Chalice, and therefore join in the same sacrifice by 
an active participation. In the first ages of the 
Western Church this form of a corporate Mass 
was the usual custom. The sole exemplar of such 
a Mass now is in the consecration of a bishop 
and the ordination of a priest. 

216 The Mass and Vestments 

The Council of Mount Lebanon (1736) for the 
Maronites, and Benedict XIV by a Bull, dated 
December 24, 1743, for the Melchite Greeks, per- 
mitted each co-celebrant to receive a stipend. 
The same privilege is granted in the Western 
Church according to Benedict XIV, St. Alphonsus 
de Liguori and Gasparri, if it is certain that the 
donor of the stipend knowingly consents. 

Who fixes the Tax or Stipend for a Mass? 

The bishop in his diocese for Secular and Regular 
priest alike determines the amount of the stipend. 
By a decree (n. 369) of the Second Council of 
Baltimore, a bishop may even prohibit the regular 
acceptance of a fee less than the statutory stipend. 
This regulation, however, is not violated by the 
acceptance of a moiety from the poor for the 
celebration of a Mass. 

What factors determine the amount of the 

The hour at which the Mass is to be said, the 
chant, the distance to be travelled and the per- 
manency of the burden assumed. 

Is a uniform standard possible in prescrib- 
ing a Stipend? 

Because of an indeterminate variety of economic 
conditions in time and place, the Council of Trent 
and the Sacred Congregation have refused to 
decree a universal standard and, therefore, have 

The Offerings for Mass 217 

relinquished it to the local bishops. Benedict XIV, 
however, is averse to a maximum stipend because 
a priest is not dependent on his Masses for his 
entire support, and Suarez reaches the same con- 
clusion because a Mass demands neither the entire 
day nor the greater part of it. An additional 
argument is based on the fact, that priests ordained 
with an assured benefice or a patrimony for their 
becoming sustenance are not entirely dependent 
on their Masses. This last condition being in- 
applicable to priests engaged in the ministry in 
special countries, like the United States, amplifies 
their privilege to accept a more generous stipend. 

What is the average stipend for a Mass in 
the United States? 

For a Low Mass the customary stipend often 
fixed by Synodal statute is one dollar. For 
a High Mass and a funeral service with chant 
and organist the amount varies in different 

Can a Priest exact more than the statutory 

To demand more than the legal stipend creates 
a presumption of simony in foro externo, and a 
fact of simony, at least, by ecclesiastical legislation 
in foro interno and is therefore prohibited. He 
may, however, accept gratuities for Masses in 
excess of the standard stipend. 

218 The Mass and Vestments 

What is the nature of the obligation assumed 
by a Priest who accepts a stipend? 

There is an explicit or implicit contract whereby 
the priest in consideration of a stipend, given for 
his support, agrees to offer a Mass by an obligation 
of justice. 

In how many ways does this obligation bind? 

Four — to the number, time, locality and quality 
of the Mass. 

What is the rule relative to the number of 

There must be as many Masses as there are 
stipends accepted. Therefore, Alexander VII 
(1665) condemned those who taught many 
stipends could be discharged by one Mass, and that 
a single Mass could be offered for a double stipend 
by assigning the ordinary fruit of the Mass to one 
intention and the priest's share of it to the other. 
The same rule obtains even when the number of 
Masses is not specified, and when a sum less than 
the standard tax is knowingly and willingly ac- 

What is the obligation as to the time oj the 
celebration of the Mass? 

(1) If a definite day be mutually agreed upon 
because of a special need or intention for that day, 
the Mass must be offered according to that under- 
standing. If a day is specialized, not for its own 

The Offerings for Mass 219 

sake so much as to be assured of the Mass within 
a certain time, a slight anticipatory or dilatory 
departure from the day appointed is permissible. 

If a definite time is fixed like a week or fifteen 
days, or one month, the Mass must be offered 
within that time. If the urgent and present 
necessity for which a Mass is invoked, like an ex- 
pected death, or an auspicious birth, or a pressing 
danger is specified, the Mass must not be delayed. 

(2) If the time limit is left indeterminate, all 
former decrees are superseded by an Instruction 
of the Sacred Congregation of the Council 
approved by Pius X, issued May 11, 1904, and 
enjoining the following: 

(a) The ordinary time within which a Mass 
must be said is one month; for one hundred 
Masses six months, and so in proportion. 

(6) No one is allowed to accept more stipends 
than he can discharge in one year from date of 
acceptance, except with the consent of the donor. 

(c) All Masses remaining unsaid after the lapse 
of a year must with their stipends be transferred 
to the bishop, unless the excess is trifling and 
their celebration is prorogued by consent of the 

(d) Extra Masses which a priest is free to dis- 
pose of may be surrendered with the stipends to 
the Holy See, or bishop, or any irreproachable 

220 The Mass and Vestments 

(e) Such delivery to the Holy See, or bishop 
acquits the priest of all further responsibility. A 
transfer to other priests, however, carries with it 
a personal obligation until he knows that the 
Masses have been said. If, therefore, through 
loss of the stipends, or death, or other mischance, 
the intentions be left unexecuted, the priest who 
gave them must discharge the obligation. 

(3) If the donor is informed by the priest that 
he cannot offer the Mass at any specified time, and 
is willing to abide by his convenience, he may 
accept the alms and say the Mass at the most 
suitable time. 

What is the most recent legislation regard- 
ing the disposal of Mass stipends? 

In a decree of the S. Congregation of the 
Council, August, 1904, the Holy See renewed and 
emphasized by certain additional restrictions the 
existing canonical prescriptions regarding the ac- 
ceptance and disposition of stipends received 
from the faithful for Masses. It laid bishops and 
priests under the obligation not to collect or receive 
offerings for Masses, unless they are able person- 
ally to satisfy the duty or delegate it, on their 
own responsibility, without permitting indiscrimi- 
nate liberty in assigning stipends to other priests, 
unless they are sure from personal knowledge that 
the Masses would be said within a given time. 

Moreover, the Ordinaries were to be made the 

The Offerings for Mass 221 

depositaries of Mass obligations which had ac- 
cumulated or had not been fulfilled within the 
time assigned, and they were to dispose of the 
stipends among really needy priests. Of these 
transactions registers were to be kept both by the 
individual priest who received the stipends and by 
the bishop who disposed of the surplus of unsaid 
Masses. In all cases the obligation of answering 
for the saying of the Masses would remain with 
the party who had transferred the stipend to 
another priest, until he was assured that the 
Masses had actually been said. 

There were also distinct regulations to prevent 
the danger of traffic of sacred things, such as the 
exchange or compact to say Masses in payment 
for subscriptions to periodicals, or for books, or for 
the cancelling of membership fees in pious con- 
gregations, for the support of shrines and chari- 
table works of any kind. The penalty for violation 
of these rules was in some cases suspension ipso 
facto for priests, and excommunication for laymen. 

Now the S. Congregation complains that these 
laws have been evaded in various ways, and that 
the spirit of avarice ever close to the temple has 
taken on some new forms. Under plea of supply- 
ing missionary needs, priests and agents have 
gone about collecting stipends for Masses, with the 
assumed understanding and consent of the donors, 
that part of the offering is to be devoted to the 
necessities of the mission and the support of other 

222 The Mass and Vestments 

undertakings. Part of the Masses were con- 
signed to priests who were willing to accept a 
lesser amount than the original offering, and the 
remainder was used at the discretion of those who 
had collected the stipend. Frequently these "in- 
tentions" were sent abroad to priests of dioceses 
in which the customary stipend is lower than 
elsewhere; and sometimes they were entrusted to 
priests entirely unknown and whose sense of 
responsibility offered no guarantee that the Masses 
would be conscientiously said. 

In view of these abuses the Holy See not only 
urges anew the former prescriptions, but defines 
them still more closely, whilst making the 
Ordinaries directly responsible within their juris- 
diction for a careful and conscientious supervision 
of the matter. Accordingly the S. Congregation 
ordains sub gravi conscientise vinculo ab omni- 
bus servanda: 

(1) That Mass stipends are not to be given to 
priests of another diocese, whether they be 
Religious or Seculars, except with the explicit 
sanction of the Ordinary or the Provincial. The 
words of the decree make the Ordinary practically 
the dispenser of all the intentions or stipends 
given to priests under his jurisdiction. Hence — 

(2) The Ordinary of each diocese is to keep a 
register of the names of his priests, and in it are 
to be noted the Masses assigned to each through 
or by the Ordinary. This is to guide him in the 

The Offerings for Mass 223 

proper and equitable distribution of such stipends 
as are left with the bishop, either from the sur- 
plus of unsaid Masses at the end of the year, or 
from the stipends which come to him from non- 
diocesan sources. 

(3) Lest, however, these restrictions prevent 
the exercise of that charity by which the priests 
of the foreign missions in the East have hitherto 
become beneficiaries of the generosity of well-to- 
do Catholics among the clergy and laity, the S. 
Congregation of Propaganda is constituted the 
official depository of all offerings for Masses in- 
tended for the Oriental missions. Hence, those 
who wish to aid priests in the foreign missions by 
offerings for Masses shall have to send the 
stipends directly to the S. Congregation in Rome 
whence they will be distributed according to the 
known needs of the respective missions. 

These measures are stringent in view of the 
practice which hitherto prevailed, especially in the 
freedom with which foreign missionaries have 
been in the habit of collecting stipends during 
their sojourns abroad. Naturally these priests 
appeal to the sympathy of the stranger people 
among whom they preach. The indiscriminate 
liberality of the faithful often begets a vague 
sense of irresponsibility on the part of the visiting 
priest; and a missionary who on his rounds collects 
hundreds and thousands of intentions, hoping to 
satisfy them in the course of time, or dispose of 

224 The Mass and Vestments 

them among his brethren on his return home, 
may not only lose sight of the record of his obliga- 
tions, but may be overtaken by sickness or death, 
leaving his promises unfulfilled. Frequently, too, 
missionary pretenders, who get along on their 
appearance or on the strength of their familiarity 
with local church matters, have been found to 
abuse the serious trust implied in the acceptance 
of Mass stipends, and not only deceived those who 
had confided in their honest looks, but also created 
a general distrust, to the unfortunate lessening of 
charity where it is really needed and effective. 

By making the Ordinaries or the Sacred Con- 
gregation the distributors of Mass stipends outside 
the diocese, another source of abuse is prevented. 
It is well known that as the value of money and 
the cost of living differ in different countries, so 
does the customary stipend for Masses. In the 
United States the usual stipend is one dollar; in 
Canada the Dominican Fathers have long adver- 
tised that they say Masses for fifty cents. In 
Italy and France the stipend is one franc. As the 
priestly function and the service of the Mass are 
of the same value everywhere, it follows that a 
priest in France whom an American asks to say a 
Mass, is much more benefitted than he would be 
by a request to say Mass from a person of his own 
diocese. This has given rise, very naturally, to 
anxiety on the part of the priests in poorer 
dioceses to obtain Mass stipends from those abroad 

The Offerings for Mass 225 

who make larger offerings; and when such an 
exchange of poverty and uncostly generosity 
occurs between a priest who transfers his surplus 
to a needy stranger, it sometimes happens that 
the poorer priest can return the charity done him 
by using his influence in other directions for his 
benefactor. Such exchange is not simony, nor is 
it bribing, but it is sometimes a convenient way 
of getting things, which are thought out in 
America, done and promoted by needy subordi- 
nates in Italy, and whilst the method is free 
probably from blame of dishonesty, it is frequently 
open to the service of conscious or unconscious self- 
interest. Moreover, when such stipends are sent 
to the Ordinary of a strange diocese, they are 
more likely to be disposed of for the benefit of 
priests who need them, and thus are sustained 
poor missions whose incumbents rarely receive Mass 
intentions from other sources. In this way, we 
understand, the Mission Extension Society disposes 
of many intentions through the bishops in needy 

The exact keeping of records of Mass stipends 
according to the form suggested by this new 
legislation is one of the items to be entered on the 
detailed list for the canonical visitation of parishes. 

By a more recent decree of the Cardinal Prefect 
of the Congregation of Propaganda, July 15, 1908, 
Mass intentions destined for the support of mis- 
sionaries in the East are to be thus regulated: 

226 The Mass and Vestments 

(1) They may be forwarded either through the 
Sacred Congregation of Propaganda or the 
Apostolic Delegates credited to Eastern countries, 
with instructions as to how many Masses or 
stipends should be given to the prelates or priests 
within their jurisdiction. 

(2) They must never be sent to lay persons 
for distribution. 

(3) Nor given directly to the priests on these 
Oriental missions, nor to the Superiors of Mis- 
sionary Congregations, nor to Eastern prelates or 
Vicars patriarchal. 

(4) They may, however, be forwarded directly 
to bishops invested with ordinary jurisdiction in 
the East by bishops and priests to relieve the 
necessities of those missionaries only who are 
subject to them. (Decree of March 18, 1908). To 
safeguard a surplusage of intentions in any one 
diocese the Apostolic Delegate must be notified of 
the number sent and the bishop to whom sent. 

What is the obligation as to the place oj the 

Donors of alms for Masses may specify a privi- 
leged altar, or a special church or altar not 
privileged, or a shrine-church. 

(1) Privileged Altar. 

(a) The obligation is discharged by a Mass on 
a privileged altar, or on any altar by a priest who 
enjoys the personal privilege of a privileged altar. 

The Offerings for Mass 227 

(b) The obligation is discharged by a priest 
who, in good faith, celebrates on a privileged 
altar, but through some defect, like the substitu- 
tion of a saint's Mass for a Mass of requiem, fails 
to obtain the plenary indulgence, if he gain and 
apply to the intention another plenary indulgence. 
Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences, 
February 22, 1847. 

(c) The obligation is not discharged by a Mass 
offered on a non-privileged altar, even though the 
celebrant obtain and apply to the soul a plenary 
indulgence gained, for example, by the recitation 
of the prayer, "En Ego," after Mass. 

(2) A special Church or Altar. 

If the donor determine a particular church or 
altar because of a special devotion to a saint, or 
statue, or relics, through whose intercession 
favors have been already received, the Mass must 
be celebrated in the appointed place. 

(3) Shrine-churches. 

If the Mass may be and is offered in above 
church, the obligation is obviously cancelled. As, 
however, the number of such intentions is largely 
in excess of every possibility of discharge in the 
desired place, Benedict XIV recommends that a 
bulletin be posted in some public place notifying 
the faithful that all the Masses cannot be offered 
at the shrine, but every diligence will be employed 
to have them said promptly in other churches. 

228 The Mass and Vestments 

In the absence of such a bulletin, the bishop may 
order the transfer of the extra Masses, because 
whilst he cannot alter the intentions of the donors, 
he may interpret them when their fulfillment is 
hindered by an impediment of law or fact. 

What does the obligation as to the quality of 
the Mass imply? 

It implies on the part of the givers of the 
stipends a preference for a Mass for the dead, or 
a Mass of requiem, or a Mass for the living, or a 
votive Mass, or a Mass in honor of some mystery 
or saint, or a solemn or a chanted Mass. 

(1) Mass far the dead. 

This obligation is satisfied by any Mass of a 
double or semi-double rite, even though it be not 
a Mass of requiem or a Mass in black vestments. 
The reason is, that the application of the Mass is 
one factor; its rite another. If a Mass of requiem 
is desired the rite of the Mass is determined. If 
the offering is given for a Mass for the dead, its 
application is the chief consideration, and as every 
Mass, independent of the color of the vestments, 
has, substantially, the same efficacy, the stipend is 
satisfied by any Mass. 

(2) Mass of requiem. 

If there is a definite wish expressed for a Mass 
of a requiem, the celebrant is obliged not only to 
offer it for the dead, but to say a Mass of requiem 
when permitted by the rubrics. 

The Offerings for Mass 229 

(3) Mass for the Living. 

Every Mass, even a Mass of requiem, is adequate 
for the discharge of this obligation, 'because the 
special fruit of the sacrifice which is sought for 
the intention is the same in all Masses. 

(4) Votive Mass. 

A demand for a votive Mass of saint or mystery- 
is not satisfied by a Mass on a day of double rite. 
The priest is obliged to await a day on which a 
votive Mass may be said according to the rubrics 
and apply it according to the intention of the 
donor of the stipend. 

(5) Mass in Honor of Saint or Mystery. 

If a votive Mass is intended and understood, it 
must be said. If the wish be rather for a Mass 
which will promote the honor and veneration of 
the saint or mystery and serve as a thank-offering 
for benefits conferred, the most convenient Mass 
may be selected. 

(6) Solemn, Chanted or Low Masses. 

In executing the wish of a donor of stipends 
care must be taken to distinguish between a 
Solemn Mass, with deacon and sub-deacoh7 a 
Chanted Mass and a read or Low Mass. They 
are not identical, and conformity must always be 
sought between the special kind of Mass and the 
express desire of the donor. 

230 The Mass and Vestments 

Can a Priest accept Stipends for more than 
one Mass on any Day? 

Christmas Day alone excepted, a priest is pro- 
hibited from accepting more than one stipend on 
any day, even though he may be privileged to 
offer two Masses on certain days. 

When and where did this prohibition origi- 

All the theologians down to the middle of the 
nineteenth century make no reference to it. 
Bouvier and Gousset, as recent as 1840, deny it 
and permit a dual stipend for a dual Mass in the 
first editions of their Theologies, although the 
permission is reversed in the later editions. As 
late as 1858, priests in many dioceses of France 
were accepting in good faith a double stipend for 
two Masses. The only restriction existing from 
the time of Alexander II (1061-1073) was that a 
priest could not celebrate often on the same day 
merely for the sake of the increased alms. 

The prohibition began with a decree of the 
Sacred Congregation of the Council (December 
19, 1835) in response to a petition of a priest of 
one parish soliciting the privilege of duplicating, 
or celebrating two Masses on certain days and 
asking whether appeal must be made to the Holy 
See for the concession. The answer is in the 
affirmative for ten years, with the proviso, "that 
he must not accept a stipend for the second 

The Offerings for Mass 231 

Mass," which signifies according to Ballerini that 
a stipend is permissible for the first, or the second 
Mass, but not for both. 

The inspiration and norma of this decision was 
the Brief of Benedict XIV (August 26, 1748) 
rigidly excluding both stipend and gratuity from 
the triple Mass permitted to the priests of Spain 
and Portugal on All Souls' Day (Nov. 2). The 
exclusion is justified by the desire to restrain 
avarice and silence unjust criticism and, therefore, 
when a plurality of Masses is allowed, a plurality 
of stipends must be prescinded. 

All the more recent legislation of the Church 
has confirmed and emphasized this decision. 

Are there any exceptions to this rule? 

Pius IX, May 24, 1870, authorized bishops in 
missionary countries to allow priests under an ex- 
ceptional stress of poverty to accept a double 
stipend. Leo XIII mitigated the severity of the 
regulation for three dioceses in Belgium — Namur, 
(Nov. 19, 1878), for five years; Tournay, (Nov. 
29, 1880), for three years; Mechlin, (Dec. 13, 1880), 
for three years. In the first instance the extra 
stipend must be donated to the Seminary, in the 
second, to religious instruction and poor curates, 
and in the third, to Catholic schools. 

When the second Mass entails special ex- 
trinsic labor and inconvenience, is an extra 
stipend allowed? 

232 The Mass and Vestments 

A decree of the Sacred Congregation (May 23, 
1861) consigns to the prudent judgment of the 
bishops to determine whether in a given case a 
priest is justified in accepting a special remunera- 
tion for the exceptional trouble involved in a 
second Mass. In this instance, he is, however, 
barred from accepting the stipend for the appli- 
cation of the Mass. 

Bibliography: Reichel, Canon Law, 1896; S. Many, 
S. S., De Missa, 1900; Mechlin Conferences, 1877, p. 78; 
Synods of the Diocese af Albany; II Council of Baltimore; 
Martene, De Antiquis Ecclesiae ritibus, 1788; Bingham, 
Origines Eccles. 1728; Thomassin, Discipline de l'Eglise, 
1866; Mabillon, Acta Sanctorum O. S. B., 1672; Benedict 
XIV, De Sacrificio Missae, Louvain, 1762; Gasparri, De 
Eucharistia, Paris, 1897; Homiletic Review, New York, 
September, 1904, p. 1097; de Berlendis, De Oblationibus 
ad Altare, Venice, 1743; Noldin, S. J., Theologia Moralis, 
1904; Genicot, S. J., Theologia Moralis, 1900; Ecclesiasti- 
cal Review, August, 1904, February, 1909. 



How is that place distinguished in which 
Mass is allowed? 

It is either Normal and Ordinary, or Extra- 
ordinary. The Normal and Ordinary is the place 
where the general law and usage of the Church 
permit a Mass to be said. 

How many such places are there? 


(a) A consecrated or blessed church that has 
not forfeited its consecration, or benediction, and 
is not under interdict. 

(6) A public or semi-public chapel or oratory. 

(c) A domestic chapel by Papal permission. If 
judged by a rigid standard, a domestic chapel does 
not fall within the term ordinary place, and, 
therefore, requires an Episcopal or Pontifical 

What is an extraordinary place? 

A place outside a church or chapel, in which it 
is unlawful to celebrate Mass unless by special 
privilege, or from urgent necessity. 

234 The Mass and Vestments 

Was this distinction of place always in vogue 
in the Church? 

No. It began to exist only with the Council of 

What was the custom prior to that Council? 

In the age of persecution, Mass was offered 
anywhere, on portable altar or table. St. Dionysius 
of Alexandria (265) with a suggestion of emotion 

"Every place — the field, the wilds, the ship, the 
stable, the prison became a temple for the per- 
formance of the Sacred Mysteries." 

After the persecutions, the military camps, 
private houses and the rooms of the sick and 
dying, frequently and with moderate restraint, 
witnessed the Holy Sacrifice. Priests in their 
journeyings sacrificed in response to their personal 
devotion. Masses in the homes of the sick and 
dying became such an abuse that many bishops 
in the ninth century supplanted them with the 
Dry Mass. (vide p. 143). 

Practically, the whole routine and regulation of 
the Mass was in the control of the bishops. Not 
only did they enjoy the privilege of a portable 
altar; they had also the inherent right to confer 
that privilege on others for adequate cause. 

Jointly with the bishops, all Regulars, Domini- 
cans, Franciscans, etc., shared the privilege of a 
portable altar, which authorized them to say Mass 

Where Celebrated 235 

wherever they were, in any becoming place, 
always, however, as the decree expresses it, "with- 
out prejudice to any parochial right." 

Relatively to the Bishops, what was the effect 
of the Tridentine Legislation? 

It deprived them qualifiedly of the power of 
granting permission to say Mass in any place 
external to churches and chapels, and, by conse- 
quence, of the power of conferring the privilege 
of a portable altar. Henceforth, the Holy See 
reserves this right entirely to itself. 

What is the significance of this "Qualified" 

It means, that although bishops have been 
shorn of above prerogative so far as conceding a 
right to say Mass in any extraordinary place, per- 
petually, or for a very long time arbitrarily and at 
their own option, they are yet competent to grant 
such permission in special emergencies. 

What are these Emergencies? 

A ruined church, and a church outgrown by its 
congregation; an outbreak of contagion or infec- 
tion; in such crises as earthquakes and freshets; 
on a journey, when tourists of a sufficient number 
would otherwise be deprived of Mass; on shore or 
at a port, for the convenience of travellers for a 
similar reason; in military camps. In these in- 
stances, the question of "necessity" is always 

236 The Mass and Vestments 

involved, and a question relative to the number of 
participants, who must be more than one or a 
few. It is generally accepted that on Sundays 
and Holydays of obligation, a bishop's right is con- 
clusive to allow a Mass. The same right does 
not exist for a week-day Mass unless legitimized 
by a serious necessity. 

Must the celebrant in any of those instances 
obtain the positive permission of the Bishop? 

Some of the rubricians, like Reiffenstuel and 
Quarti, require the episcopal consent only as a 
matter of courtesy. Others, like St. Thomas, St. 
Antonine, St. Alphonsus, Suarez, Gattico and 
Cardinal Petra, teach that such consent is manda- 
tory. This is the more probable opinion, to be 
followed, except: 

(a) Where a legitimate custom to the contrary 

(6) Where the case is so urgent as to preclude 
the possibility of applying for a permission. 

(c) When the place in question is subject to no 

May Mass be said on ship-board? 

Yes, by the permission of an Apostolic Indult 
only. Smooth seas and absence of commotion will 
not alone permit a Mass. A decree of the Sacred 
Congregation of Rites, March 4, 1904, decides that 
a permission to say Mass cannot be issued by the 

Where Celebrated 237 

would-be celebrant's bishop, nor by the bishop 
of the embarking port, nor is it contained in the 
privilege of a portable altar. A legitimate and 
demonstrable custom will, however, set up an 

By a decree, June 30, 1908, Pius X permits 
bishops of North and South America, Oceania and 
Australia whilst on a journey to and from Rome 
to celebrate Mass daily on the sea, if the place of 
celebration be decorous and the danger of spilling 
the contents of the chalice eliminated, and as a 
further precaution it is prescribed, if a priest is 
available, he will assist the celebrant in cassock 
and surplice. 

What is the law of the Church regulating 
Mass in Mortuary Chapels? 

(a) A Mass is prohibited unless the space of a 
full yard intervenes between the altar and the 
nearest entombed body. 

(b) The table of the altar therein must adhere 
to solid supports and the altar itself fixed per- 
manently in one place. (Decrees, January 12, 1899, 
and June 19, 1908). 

What is the so-called privilege of a Portable 

It is the privilege of offering the Holy Sacrifice 
in any becoming place, except on ship-board. This 
is not identical with the privilege of a private 

238 The Mass and Vestments 

Who enjoy this privilege? 

Cardinals, bishops, protonotaries participantes, 
not protonotaries ad instar, nor protonotaries 
titulares, or honorarii, and the auditors of the 

What is the Status oj Regulars in respect of 
the Portable Altar? 

The privilege of pre-Tridentine times was re- 
voked and abrogated by the Council of Trent. 
The Jesuits and the Mendicant Orders, subse- 
quently, obtained a modified form of the privilege 
in the region only of their pagan missions, fol- 
lowed by the Dominicans in Poland, for localities 
without churches, and in case of necessity. 

Seculars and Religious in missionary countries, 
akin to our condition here, are invested with a 
restricted sort of portable altar on out-missions 
bereft of churches or chapels. The faculty of the 
Propaganda de Fide is granted to all legitimate 
workers, "of celebrating Mass one hour before 
sun-rise, and another after noon-tide, without a 
server, et sub dio et sub terra, in the open and 
under the earth, always, however, in a decent 

Bibliography: Martene, De Antiquis Eccles. Ritibus; 
Gattico, De Usu Altaris portatilis; De Oratoriis Domesticis, 
Romae, 1770; Mansi, Concilia; Reiffenstuel, De Celebratione 
Missarum; S. Many, S. S., De Missa. 



Did the Custom ever exist oj saying many 
Masses each day? 

In the fifth and sixth centuries Mass was said 
daily throughout the Christian world. In the 
seventh century the custom generally prevailed of 
sacrificing frequently each day. 

Is there any notable example of this frequent 

Pope Leo III (795-816) according to a con- 
temporary, Walafrid Strabo, offered seven, nine 
and more masses daily. 

What was the origin oj this custom? 

It began with the usage of certain churches in 
Rome of honoring special feast-days, and having 
the privilege of a mid-night Mass, like the Nativity, 
on Holy Thursday, Easter and Pentecost, with two 
or more solemn Masses. So great was the concourse 
of worshippers that priests were permitted to 
offer many private Masses on these days to 
accommodate them, and by aquiescence, the cus- 
tom spread of saying many Masses on ordinary 

240 The Mass and Vestments 

Was there any restraint of this Custom? 

The earliest existing restraint was that of a 
decree of the twelfth Council of Toledo, Spain 
(681) censuring those priests who offered daily 
many Masses but consumed the Sacred Species 
only in the last. 

When was there a limitation 0/ the number 
of daily Masses offered? 

In England, under King Edgar (957) and in 
Germany, the Council of Salegunstadt (1022) 
issued decrees limiting the daily Masses to three 

By whom was the restriction imposed of one 
Mass daily? 

Egbert, the Archbishop of York, England (735- 
771) for his arch-diocese was the first, and after 
him, for the entire Church, Alexander II (1016- 
1073), Innocent III (1198-1216) and Honorius 
III (1216-1227). 

What reason did Alexander II give for the 
sufficiency oj one daily Mass? 

Because Christ died but once and His death 
was sufficient for the redemption of the world. 

What was the Cause of the Prohibition oj 
many daily Masses? 

To remove all occasion and suspicion of avarice 
from the sacred ministry, The acts and decrees 

Number of Masses Each Day 241 

of Councils in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries 
are resonant with the note of correction as applied 
to the cupidity of certain priests, fed and gorged 
by a multiplicity of daily Masses. 

By what terms is the law regulating daily 
Masses now expressed? 

Except on the Feast of the Nativity of Our 
Lord, a priest will celebrate only one Mass daily, 
unless authorized by necessity to say two Masses. 

What constitutes a necessity justifying two 

According to the opinion of specialists and the 
decisions of the Sacred Congregations the follow- 
ing conditions are required: 

(1) When a priest has the care of two parishes 
so far apart either by actual distance, or by reason 
of the hardship of the road, that all the people 
cannot assemble in the same church, or when the 
faithful of one parish are so scattered that they 
cannot be convened together at the same time, or 
when a congregation outnumbers the capacity of 
the parish church, and if perchance, the church 
is ample to accommodate all, the exigency of a 
second Mass is allowed to exist if all cannot attend 
at the same hour. It is not, however, allowed 
those who wish to hear Mass in a private chapel, 
although sometimes granted nuns of a strict 

242 The Mass and Vestments 

(2) If there be no other priest who is com- 
petent to offer an additional Mass required by the 
people, that the precept of hearing Mass may be 
discharged without excessive inconvenience. 

(3) The extra Mass in question is confined to 
a Sunday and a Holyday of obligation, when the 
duty of hearing Mass is obligatory. In a few 
instances it is also allowed on suppressed feasts 
because of a long-standing custom. 

What distance and how many people are 
sufficient Jor a second Mass? 

By a decree of January 12, 1847, a distance of 
about one mile and the convenience of about 
twenty persons are the standard legitimizing a 
second Mass. Decisions are also extant declaring 
under special circumstances, twelve people and 
one-half mile sufficient, although the difficulty of 
rendering a definite opinion has been admitted by 
the Holy See. 

Who is the authority to determine the exi- 
gency of a second Mass? 

It resides entirely in the Episcopal authority of 
each diocese. 

How is this privilege regulated in the United 

It must emanate from the bishop; it must be 
renewed each year, and it must be considered as a 
personal privilege attaching to the priest, and not 

Number of Masses Each Day 243 

to any special church, although in Belgium the 
reverse obtains and the privilege is local, not 

What is to be held regarding a custom mini- 
mizing the necessity which alone can authorize 
a second Mass? 

The general law of the Church demands a 
qualified necessity, and declares an indifference to, 
or a neglect of this question of necessity an abuse 
to be eliminated. In measuring the exigency, 
however, it is sufficient if it be moral and practical 
with due reference to existing conditions. The dis- 
tracting and severe strain of modern industrial 
and economic life in cities, and a recognized and 
confessed laxity in the full observance of Church 
laws mitigate more or less the severity of the 
standard requirements, modify the necessity and 
broaden the privilege of the priest to provide an 
extra Mass for a people who might neglect it if 
their convenience be not consulted. 

Is a second Mass allowed to provide the 
Viaticum for the Dying? 

If a priest be fasting, a second Mass is allowed. 
If his fast be broken, the nearly unanimous 
authority of theologians is against a second Mass, 
and yet Genicot, S. J. (p. 251) calls the opposite 
opinion probable in the case of a priest who has 
consumed the ablutions in his first Mass. 

244 The Mass and Vestments 

Is there any place where three Masses are 
licit on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation? 

By a decree of December 20, 1879, the arch- 
bishop of Mexico was authorized to grant such 
permission when necessary. 

What are the exceptions to this General Law 
of one daily Mass? 

(1) The ancient custom of three Masses on 
Christmas is still retained in the Western Church. 
Regarding this custom, we observe: 

(a) The right of a triple Mass is a privilege 
not a duty. 

(6) The same Mass cannot be repeated, which 
also applies to priests who, because of some special 
infirmity, are allowed to say every day a votive 
Mass of the Blessed Virgin. 

(c) A stipend may be accepted for each Mass 
on Christmas, which is a deviation from the ordi- 
nary discipline. 

(d) The Eastern Church knows nothing of the 
triple Christmas Mass. Rome has repeatedly re- 
fused the privilege to those Orientals who have 
accepted her primacy. 

(2) In the old kingdom of Aragon, comprising 
Roussilon or Perpignan in France, Catalonia and 
Valentia in Spain, and the island of Majorca, a 
very ancient privilege was enjoyed on All Souls of 
three Masses by Regulars and two by the Secular 

Number of Masses Each Day 245 

clergy. By a brief, dated August 26, 1748, 
Benedict XIV not only confirmed but enlarged it, 
and made it applicable to Spain and Portugal and 
all their colonies at that date in the Old and New 
World. These include the so-called Latin countries 
of South America, even those now emancipated 
from Spanish and Portuguese dominion. This 
supplementary concession gives license to both 
Regular and Secular clergy to celebrate three 
Masses on the Feast of All Souls. This privilege 
is subject to the following restrictions: 

(a) The Masses must be offered for all the 
faithful departed. 

(6) No stipend, direct, indirect or spontaneous 
is legitimate for these Masses. 

(c) The concession is restricted to resident 
priests only. 

(d) These Masses may continue until two hours 
after noon. 

(e) More recent decisions thus fix the order of 
the Masses: The first is that of All Souls; the 
second, as on an anniversary; the third, the missa 
quotidiana or daily Mass. If only one is said, it 
must be the first. If two, the first must be of 
All Souls and the second is optional. 

In all other places not comprised in this decree, 
the celebration of more than one Mass on All Souls 
is declared an abuse which must be corrected. 

246 The Mass and Vestments 

(3) The extraordinary privilege given the 
archbishop of Mexico already noted. 

(4) The intervention of a necessity based on a 
paucity of priests, and the spiritual welfare of the 
faithful, making licit in instances before explained 
the celebration of two Masses on the same day. 

Bibliography: S. Many, S. S., De Missa; Mansi, Concilia, 
Vol. 18, Decreta Authentica; Benedict XIV, De Sacrificio 
Missae, Louvain 1762; Gasparri, De Eucharistia. 



§ 1— DAY. 

On what days in the Primitive Church was 
Mass offered? 

In the beginning, Sunday or the Lord's day, 
the first of the week, was the only liturgic day 
when Mass was offered. Then came Wednesdays 
and Fridays with their fast and stations and 
sacrifice. Afterwards, the Eastern Church added 
Saturdays to these, although down to the fifth 
century, Rome and Alexandria forbade the Satur- 
day Mass, because the Saturday before the first 
Easter was a day of fast and seclusion for the 
Apostles. By the fifth century the custom of 
saying Mass daily had become universal. 

What is the modern custom in the Latin 

In the Latin rite, every day of the year is 
liturgic or mass-day, except Good Friday, abso- 
lutely, and Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, 
with restrictions. From these restrictions Holy 
Thursday is more frequently exempt than Holy 

248 The Mass and Vestments 

What is the usage according to the Ambrosian 
Rite of Milan? 

For some time ante-dating the twelfth century 
the custom has existed of prohibiting the cele- 
bration of Mass on the Fridays of Lent, and also 
of excluding all Saints' days from the same season. 
St. Charles Borromeo did not originate this custom. 
He merely approved and enforced it. By a decree 
of February 23, 1897, the Holy See, in response 
to a petition of the Milanese clergy now permits 
a Mass in honor of St. Joseph, March 19, and of 
the Annunciation, March 25, on their respective 
days, and even when these festivals fall on Friday. 

What is the accepted practice according to 
the Oriental Rite? 

Within the time of the Lenten fast Mass can be 
said only on Saturdays and Sundays. On the re- 
maining five days of each quadragesimal week, a 
Mass of the Presanctified is alone permitted similar 
to our Good Friday service, when there is only a 
consumption of sacred Hosts consecrated on the 
preceding Sunday. This custom began with the 
Council of Laodicea (314) and is binding on all 
Orientals in communion with the Church of Rome. 
The patriarchal council of the Melchites (1835) 
decreed it as lawful to accept a stipend for a Mass 
of the Presanctified. 

7s there any departure from this custom 
among Orientals? 

The Time of Celebrating Mass 249 

There are two exceptions. The Maronites no 
longer follow this ritual of the Eastern Church, 
having supplanted it with the Roman usage of a 
Mass of the Presanctified only on Good Friday, 
and Benedict XIV indulged the Graeco-Italians to 
the extent of allowing them the privilege of a full, 
complete Mass on side-altars in parish churches, 
but insisted that the Mass of the Presanctified must 
be offered on the high altar on the days pre- 

§ 2— HOUR. 

At what Hour was Mass Celebrated in the 
early age of the Church? 

In the era of persecutions, the dominant thought 
was to celebrate the Mass at an hour when danger 
of discovery, or intrusion by an enemy would be 
reduced to a minimum. It was the age of the 
martyrs, and religious life was conditioned by 
pagan hostility. For this reason, Mass was 
ordinarily celebrated either late into the night, or 
very early in the morning. Hence Pliny's and 
Tertullian's testimony of "Christians assembling 
before the dawn." 

With the return of peace, Mass was offered on 
Sundays and non-fast days in the morning hours 
before noon and usually u hora tertia" or 9 o'clock. 
On fast days at the hour when the fast could be 
broken, not before. The rationale of this practice 
was to avoid the incongruity of celebrating a 

250 The Mass and Vestments 

mystery of joy and refreshment, typified in the 
Mass, during a time of penance and sorrow. 
Hence, in the Lenten season, Mass was not said 
till the evening, and on other fast days the hour 
of 3 p. m. was the liturgic hour. 

Midnight Mass was the accepted custom at 
Christmas, as it is now; the night of Easter, 
immediately following Holy Saturday; Pentecost; 
St. John the Baptist; the Sundays after the four 
quatuor tenses, when Holy Orders were conferred 
by decree of Pope Gelasius (492-496); on all great 
vigils, such, for example, as the night preceding 
every Sunday of the year. 

This was the rule regulating public Masses. 
Private Masses were permitted at any hour of the 
day, before and after noon, evening and after 
Compline. The night, however, was a prohibited 
time. Even on fast days a private Mass was 
allowed as early as 9 a. m. without a violation of 
the fast, which led the Greeks to accuse the 
Latins of trespassing on the fast. 

In the time of St. Thomas Aquinas (1224, 1274) 
the hour for the beginning of Mass was fixed at 
the dawn, and just prior to the Council of Trent 
(1545, 1564) the time limit for its finishing was 
determined at mid-day. 

What are the Rubrical Mass hours now? 
The Missal thus enjoins: "A private Mass can 
be said any hour between dawn and noon, Matins 

The Time of Celebrating Mass 251 

and Lauds prefacing." The Solemn or Conventual 
Mass is subject to the same limitation with the 
canonical hour of Tierce preceding. 

What is the meaning of Dawn? 

Dawn or Aurora is the interval between the 
first appearance of light and sun-rise, as twilight 
or evening is the cleavage between sun-set and 

When does the Light of Dawn begin to ap- 

When the sun in its ascension is below the 
horizon eighteen degrees. Twilight endures until 
the sun, going down, exceeds eighteen degrees 
below the horizon. 

Is the Dawn uniform? 

By no means. Its coming and duration vary 
with latitude, and places in the same latitude will 
change with the season. There are localities be- 
yond the fiftieth degree of latitude where, for 
weeks and months, the dawn either synchronizes 
with mid-night, or is abnormally delayed. To 
illustrate: in Belgium, from May 26 to July 19, 
the aurora or dawn-light shines through the entire 
night, and in mid-winter does not appear until 
long after its appearance in lower latitudes. In 
the first instance, Mass may begin at mid-night, 
and in the second, at 5 a.m., although this hour 
may ante-date the dawn by two hours or more. 

252 The Mass and Vestments 

As a practical regulation is not this determi- 
nation of the Dawn a bit of guess-work? 

It is scientifically established by astronomers, 
and many diocesan directories publish their find- 
ings for the guidance of priests in the celebration 
of Mass and the recitation of the Divine Office. 

In practice what is the exact meaning oj 
these restrictive Mass hours? 

The meaning is, according to Wapelhorst and 
the theologians, that the time being computed 
morally, Mass is not to be finished before the 
dawn, nor begun after the noon hour. 

Is there any margin oj time jixed by author- 
ity in excess of these hours? 

By decree of Benedict XIII, December 20, 1724, 
permission was granted for the city of Rome to 
begin the celebration of Mass twenty minutes 
before the dawn, and the same time after noon. 
This privilege was afterwards extended to the 
dioceses of the Roman province, and now by cus- 
tom and the opinion of experts is interpreted as 
belonging to the whole Church. 

At what Hour is Mass alloived in the Arctic 

In the summer season, in places adjacent to the 
Poles, the unsetting sun remains for weeks and 
months above the horizon and furnishes an un- 
ending day. Within that period, Mass may begin 

The Time of Celebrating Mass 253 

at the minute which corresponds with mid-night 
and at any subsequent time for twelve hours, or 
until noon. It cannot begin, however, before mid- 
night because it would trespass on a preceding 
day. The noon hour is determined by the transit of 
the sun across the local meridian, with the addition 
or subtraction of time equation to get the average 
or medium time, and mid-night will fall twelve 
hours after such reckoning. 

In the winter season of the same region there 
is perpetual night for months, with or without a 
dawn, dependent on the fact whether the sun is 
eighteen degrees or more below the horizon. Mid- 
day may then be determined either by the efful- 
gence of the dawn, or better, by the observation 
of the stars. This determined, the other hours 
may be fixed. The perplexing difficulty, however, 
is that there is no sunrise nor aurora to usher in 
a new day. To solve this puzzle, the Sacred 
Congregation of Rites, by a decision, November 
2, 1634, thus instructed: "In those regions lack- 
ing an aurora or dawn, the morning hour is to be 
reckoned morally, as at the beginning of the civil 
or ordinary day, when men rise for their accustomed 
occupations according to the accepted custom of 
these regions." 

How many approved Methods of Computing 
Time exist? 

Four: By the sun which gives a variable solar 
time; by a time equation which gives a medium 

254 The Mass and Vestments 

time; by law which gives a legal time; and by an 
hour zone which gives a zonary time. 

Does the Church require an Observance of 
any one of these Methods to the Exclusion of 
the others? 

For the celebration of Mass, the recitation of 
the Divine Office and the regulation of fasts, the 
Church permits entire freedom in the selection of 
any one of these methods. 

Is this regulation and definition of Liturgic 
Mass hours the appointment of a Divine or an 
Ecclesiastical Law? 

It is exclusively the result of an ecclesiastical 
law, and therefore admits of exception under 
Church authoritv. 

Has the Church established any exception to 
the general law requiring Mass to be said be- 
tween Dawn and Mid-day? 

The Church allows the following exceptions: 

(1) A Conventual or Solemn High Mass at mid- 
night on the feast of the Nativity. This privilege 
does not include a private or Low Mass at the 
same hour, and if such be said, it is declared an 
abuse and bishops are enjoined to be vigilant for 
its elimination. Many religious communities, 
however, are privileged to have a Low Mass in 
their chapels at mid-night of Christmas. More 

The Time of Celebrating Mass 255 

recent legislation thus fixes the status of this mid- 
night Mass: 

By a decree of the Sacred Congregation of the 
Holy Office, dated August 1, 1907, his Holiness 
Pius X, "in order to encourage the piety of the 
faithful, and to excite in them feelings of grati- 
tude on account of the ineffable mystery of the 
Incarnation of the Divine Word," grants that in 
each and every enclosed convent of nuns, and in 
other religious institutes, pious houses, and clerical 
seminaries, possessing a public or private oratory 
with the right of permanently reserving the 
Blessed Sacrament, the privilege shall be enjoyed 
yearly, henceforth and forever, of celebrating 
three Masses (or, if more convenient, one Mass 
only) during the night of the Nativity of Our 
Lord, and of giving Holy Communion to all who 
devoutly wish it. Moreover, his Holiness declares 
that the devout hearing of this Mass (or these 
Masses) shall count for all present as a fulfillment 
of the obligation of hearing Mass according to the 
law of the Church. 

(2) Cardinals, bishops and protonotaries partici- 
pantes are allowed to say Mass a full hour before 
and after the legitimate time limit. 

(3) Missionary priests in the place of their 
missions, and secular priests in missionary 
countries, such as the United States, have the 
same lee-way of an extra hour, which means that 

256 The Mass and Vestments 

Mass may be begun one hour before the dawn, or 
at any time before 1 p. m., although it is not con- 
cluded till after 1 o'clock. 

(4) Special churches by extraordinary Papal 
permission, like Sc.n Jeronymo, the Royal, in 
Madrid (Spain) where the Spanish kings are 
crowned, may have Mass not later than 2 p. m. on 
Sundays and Holydays, and St. Andrews of New 
York City at 3 a. m. 

(5) Although the theologians, notably Ballerini 
and Noldin, dispute whether the Council of Trent 
withdrew the privilege given the Regulars of the 
Mendicant Orders in pre-Tridentine times of cele- 
brating Mass two hours after mid-night and mid- 
day, the decree of the Council (Session XXII) and 
the Bull of Clement XI, December 15, 1703, seem 
to give a verdict against the Regulars. St. 
Liguori (No. 342) affirms and again (De Privilegiis, 
no. 122) holds the opinion as doubtful. The ques- 
tion, however, is invested with only an academic 
interest and has little practical value, because 
many leading theologians, like De Lugo, Aversa, 
Dicastillo and Narbona contend, that the privilege 
granted the Regulars by Pope Eugene IV (1431- 
1447) of saying Mass three hours after noon is 
still unrevoked, and Gregory XIII, by Bull of May 
9, 1578, allows by special favor the Jesuits 
to say Mass one hour before the dawn and the 
same after noon, if they are prevented by some 

The Time of Celebrating Mass 257 

legitimate impediment from celebrating Mass at 
the proper time, and providing further that they 
obtain the permission of their General or his 
representative, and Pius "VI, by decree of January 
14, 1783, granted the Congregation of Purity the 
privilege of celebrating two hours before the dawn 
and after the noon time. By an old accepted 
axiom of "communication of privileges" all Regulars 
may legitimately avail themselves of these dispen- 

(6) In this law determining Mass hours, 
bishops may for special reasons dispense either 
individual priests for life, or particular churches 
and chapels in perpetuity. They cannot, however, 
apply the dispensation to an entire diocese in per- 

(7) Whilst it is true that no usage can contra- 
vene the rubrics of the Missal, it is also true that 
this particular rubric prescribing the liturgic time 
does not bind by a positive, or permanent insis- 
tence. Therefore, a custom clothed with the 
requisite conditions at variance with it may be 

(8) As every Church law is constructive rather 
than destructive of piety, there may happen con- 
tingencies of the graver sort, as for example, the 
needs of a large part of a congregation to hear 
Mass or a sermon, the conferring of Sacred Orders, 
the Consecration of a Host to be given the dying 

258 The Mass and Vestments 

as a Viaticum, or a priest delayed on his journey 
beyond the proper hour, when the hearing of 
Mass is de praecepto, in which instances Mass 
may precede or follow the ordered time by a 
greater or less interval. 

Bibliography: Migne, Vol. VI; Duchesne, Origines du 
culte chretien; Bruns, Concilia; Cavalieri, Opera Liturgica, 
1764; Flammarion, Popular Astronomy; Genicot, S. J. 
Theologia Moralis; De Herdt, Sacrae Liturgiae Praxis; 
Decreta Authentica; Martene, De Antiquis Eccles. Ritibus; 
St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Theologia Moralis; S. Many, S. S, 
De Missa. 



The Asperges. 

Antiphona. Asperges me, 
Domine, hyssopo, et mun- 
dabor : lavabis me, et super 
nivem dealbabor. 

Psalmus. Miserere mei, 
Deus, secundum magnam 
misericordiam tuam. 

V. Gloria Patri, etc. 

Antiphona. Asperges 


At hem. Thou shalt 
<sprinkle me with hyssop, 
O Lord, and I shall be 
cleansed: Thou shalt wash 
me, and I shall be made 
whiter than snow. 

Psalm. Have mercy on 
me, O God, according to 
Thy great mercy. 

V. Glory be, etc. 

Anthem. Thou shalt 
sprinkle me. 

The Priest, being returned to the foot of the Altar, 


V. Ostende nobis, V. Show us, O Lord, 
Domine, misericordiam tu- Thy mercy, 

R. Et salutare tuum da R. And grant us thy 

nobis. salvation. 

V. Domine, exaudi ora- V. O Lord, hear my 

tionem meam, prayer, 

R. Et clamor meus ad R. And let my cry come 

te veniat. unto thee. 

V. Dominus vobiscum. V. The Lord be with 


R. Et cum spiritu tua. R. And with thy spirit 


The Mass and Vestments 

Or emus. 

Exaudi nos, Domine 
sancte. Pater Omnipotens, 
seterne Deus : et mittere 
digneris sanctum angelum 
tuum de coelis, qui custodi- 
at, foveat, protegat, visitet, 
atque defendat omnes hab- 
itantes in hoc habitaculo. 
Per Christum Dominum 
nostrum. Amen. 

From Easter to Whitsunday inclusively, instead of the foregoing 
Anthem, the following is sung, and Alleluia is added to the 
V. (Ostende nobis), and also to its R. (Et salutare). 

Let us pray. 

Hear us, O holy Lord, 
almighty Father, eternal 
God : and vouchsafe to 
send thy holy angel from 
heaven, to guard, cherish, 
protect, visit, and defend 
all that are assembled in 
this house. Through Christ 
our Lord. Amen. 

Antiphona, Vidi aquam 
egredientem de templo a 
latere dextro, Alleluia: et 
omnes ad quos pervenit 
aqua ista salvi facti sunt, 
et dicent, Alleluia. 

Psalmus. Confitemini 
Domino, quoniam bonus : 
quoniam in sseculum miser- 
icordia ejus. Gloria, etc. 

Anthem. I saw water 
flowing from the right side 
of the temple, Alleluia: 
and all to whom that water 
came were saved, and they 
shall say, Alleluia. 

Psalm. Praise the Lord, 
for he is good : for his 
mercy endureth forever. 
Glorv. etc. 

Ordinary of the Mass. 

The Priest begins at the foot of the Altar. 

In nomine Patris, et 
Filii. et Spiritus Sancti. 

S. Introibo ad altare 

M. Ad Deum, qui lseti- 
ficat juventutem meam. 

Psalmus xlii. 

In the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Ghost. 

P. I will go unto the 
altar of God. 

A. To God, who giveth 
joy to my youth. 

Psalm xlii. 

Omitted in Masses for the Dead. 

The Structure of the Mass 


S. Judica me, Deus, et 
discerne causam meam de 
Sfente non sancta : ab homi- 
ne iniquo et doloso erue 

M. Quia hi es, Deus, 
fortitudo mea. quare me 
repulisti ? et quare tristis 
ineedo dum affligit me ini- 
micus. ? 

S. Emitte lucem tuam 
et veritatem tuam : ipsa 
me deduxerunt et adduxe- 
runt in montem sanctum 
tuum. et in tabernacula tua. 

M. Et introibo ad altare 
Dei : ad Deum, qui lsetificat 
juventutem meam. 

S. Confitebor tibi in 
cithara Deus, Deus me- 
ns: quare tristis es, anima 
mea? et quare eonturbas 

M. Spera in Deo. quon- 
iam adhuc confitebor illi 
salutare vultus mei, et 
Deus mens. 

S. Gloria Patri, et Filio, 
et Spiritui Sancto. 

M. Sicut erat in prin- 
cipio, et nunc, et semper, 
et in specula sseculorum. 


Introibo ad Altare 

P. Judge: me, O God, 
and distinguish my cause 
from the nation that is not 
holy : deliver me from the 
unjust and deceitful man. 

A. For thou, O God, 
art my strength, why hast 
thou cast me off ? and why 
do I go sorrowful whilst 
the enemy afflicteth me? 

P. Send forth thy light 
and thy truth: they have 
conducted me and brought 
me unto thy holy mount, 
and into thy tabernacles. 

A. And I will go unto 
the altar of God : to God, 
who giveth joy to my 

P. I will praise thee on 
the harp, O God, my God : 
why art thou sorrowful, O 
mv soul? and why dost 
thou disquiet me? 

A. Hope in God, for I 
will still give praise to him : 
who is the salvation of my 
countenance, and my God. 

P. Glory be to the 
Father, and to the Son, and 
to the Holy Ghost. 

A. As it was in the be- 
ginning, is now, and ever 
shall be, world without 
end. Amen. 

P. I will go unto the 
altar of God. 


The Mass and Vestments 

M. Ad Deum, qui laeti- 
ficat juventutem meam. 

S. Adjutorium nostrum 
in nomine Domini, 

M. Qui fecit coelum et 

A. To God, who giveth 
joy to my youth. 

P. Our help is in the 
name of the Lord. 

A. Who hath made 
heaven and earth. 

Then, joining his hands and humbly bozving 
dozvit, he says the Confession. 

S. Confiteor Deo om- P. I confess to Al- 

nipotenti, etc. mighty God, etc. 

M. Misereatur tui om- A. May Almighty God 

nipotens Deus, et dimissis have mercy upon thee, for- 

peccatis tuis, perducat te give thee thy sins, and 

ad vitam aeternam. brine thee to life everlast- 


S. Amen. 

M. Confiteor Deo omni- 
potent!, beatae Mariae sem- 
per Virgini, beato Michaeli 
Archangelo, beato Joanni 
Baptistae, Sanctis Apostolis 
Petro et Paulo, omnibus 
Sanctis, et tibi pater, quia 
peccavi nimis cogitatione, 
verbo, et opere, mea culpa, 
mea culpa, mea maxima 
culpa. Ideo precor beatam 
Mariam semper Virginem, 
hieatum M'ichaelem Ar- 
changelum, beatum Joan- 
nem Baptistam, sanctos 
Apostolos Petrum et Paul- 
um, omnes Sanctos, et te, 
pater, orare pro me ad 
Dominum Deum nostrum. 

P. Amen. 

A. I confess to Al- 
mighty God, to blessed 
Mary ever Virgin, to 
blessed Michael the Arch- 
angel, to blessed John Bap- 
tist, to the holy Apostles 
Peter and Paul, to all the 
Saints, and to you, father, 
that I have sinned exceed- 
ingly in thought, word, and 
deed [here strike the breast 
thrice], through my fault, 
through my fault, through 
my most grievous fault. 
Therefore I beseech blessed 
Mary ever Virgin, blessed 
Michael the Archangel, 
blessed John Baptist, the 
holy Apostles, Peter and 
Paul, and all the Saints, 
and you, father, to pray to 
the Lord our God for me. 

The Structure of the Mass 263 

Then the Priest, ivith his hands joined, gives 
the Absolution, saying: 

S. MisbrEatur vestri P. May Almighty God 

omnipotens Deus, et di- have mercy upon you, for- 

missis peccatis vestris, per- give you your sins, and 

ducat vos ad vitam aeter- bring you to life everlast- 

nam. ing. 

M. Amen. A. Amen. 

Signing himself with the sign of the Cross, he says: 

S. Indulgentiam, ab- P. May the almighty 

solutionem. et remissionem and merciful Lord grant 

peccatorum nostrorum trib- us pardon, absolution and 

uat nobis omnipotens et remission of our sins, 
misericors Dominus. 

M. Amen. A. Amen. 

Then, bozmng down, he proceeds: 

S. Deus, tu conversus P. Thou wilt turn 

vivificabis nos. again, O God, and quicken 


M. Et plebs tua laetabi- A. And thy people shall 

tur in te. rejoice in thee. 

S. Ostende nobis, Dom- P. Show us, O Lord, 

ine, misericordiam tuam. thy mercy. 

M. Et salutare tuum da A. And grant us thy 

nobis. salvation. 

S. Domine, exaudi ora- P. O Lord, hear my 

tionem meam. prayer. 

M. Et clamor meus ad A. And let my cry come 

te veniat. unto thee. 

S. Dominus vobiscum. P. The Lord be with 


M. Et cum spiritu tuo. A. And with thy spirit. 


The Mass and Vestments 

Ascending to the Altar, he says secretly: 

AuFER a nobis, quaesum- 
us, Domine, iniquitates 
nostras : ut ad Sancta 
sanctorum puris mereamur 
mentibus introire. Per 
Christum Dominum nos- 
trum. Amen. 

Take away from us our 
iniquities, we beseech thee, 
O Lord : that we may be 
worthy to enter with pure 
minds into the holy of 
holies. Through Christ 
our Lord. Amen. 

Bozving dozen over the Altar, he says: 

Oramus te, Domine, per 
merita sanctorum tuorum 
quorum reliquiae hie sunt, 
et omnium sanctorum, ut 
indulgere digneris omnia 
peccata mea. Amen. 

We beseech thee. O 
Lord, by the merits of thy 
saints whose relics are here, 
and of all the saints, that 
thou wouldst vouchsafe to 
forgive me all my sins. 

[At High Mass the Altar is here incensed.] Then the Priest, 
signing himself with the sign of the Cross, reads the Introit. 

The Kyrie Eleison is then said: 

S. Kyrie eleison (three P. Lord, have 


M. Christe eleison 
(three times). 

S. Kyrie eleison (three 

upon us. 

A. Christ, have mercy 
upon us. 

P. Lord, have mercy 
upon us. 

Afterward, standing at the middle of the Altar, extending, and 
then joining his hands, he says the Gloria in excelsis, except 
during Lent and Advent, and in Masses for the Dead. 

Gloria in excelsis Deo : 
et in terra pax hominibus 
bonae voluntatis. Lauda- 
mus te : benedicimus te : 
adoramus te: glorificamus 
te. Gratias agimus tibi 
propter magnam gloriam 
tuam, Domine Deus. Rex 

Glory be to God on high, 
and on earth peace to men 
of good will. We praise 
thee : we bless thee : we 
adore thee : we glorify thee. 
We give thee thanks for 
thy great glory, O Lord 
God, heavenly King, God 

The Structure of the Mass 


coelestis, Deus pater omni- 
potens. Domine Fili uni- 
genite Jesu Christe : Dom- 
ine Deus, Agnus Dei, Fili- 
us Patris, qui tollis pec- 
cata mundi, miserere nobis : 
qui tollis peccata mundi, 
suscipe deprecationem nos- 
tram : qui sedes ad dexter- 
am Patris, miserere nobis. 
Ouoniam tu solus sanctus : 
tu solus Dominus : tu solus 
altissimus, Jesu Christe, 
cum Sancto Spiritu, in 
gloria Dei Patris. Amen. 

the Father Almighty. O 
Lord Jesus Christ, the 
only.begotten Son : O Lord 
God, Lamb of God, Son of 
the Father, who takest 
away the sins of the world, 
have mercy on us : thou 
who takest away the sins 
of the world, receive our 
prayers : thou who sittest 
at the right hand of the 
Father have mercy on us. 
For thou only art holy: 
thou only art the Lord : 
thou only, O Jesus Christ, 
with the Holy Ghost, art 
most high in the glory of 
God the Father. Amen. 

The Priest kisses the Altar, and turning to 
the people, says: 

S. Dominus vobiscum. P. The Lord be with 


M. Et cum spiritu tuo. A. And with thy spirit. 

Then follow the Collects, which may be found in the Mis- 
sal, or the following may be used instead: 

Defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all dangers 
of soul and body ; and by the intercession of the glorious 
and blessed Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, the blessed 
apostles Peter and Paul, the blessed N. and all thy Saints, 
grant us, in thy mercy, health and peace ; that all adver- 
sities and errors being done away, thy Church may serve 
thee with a pure and undisturbed devotion. Through, etc. 

O almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit 
the whole body of the Church is sanctified and governed ; 
hear our humble supplications for all degrees and orders 
thereof, that, by the assistance of thy grace, they may 
faithfully serve thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ 


The Mass and Vestments 

thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity 
of the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. 

Then is read the Epistle, or the following may be read in- 

Rejoice in the Lord always : and again I say, Rejoice. 
Let your modesty be known to all men : the Lord is nigh. 
Be not solicitous about anything; but in everything, by 
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your peti- 
tions be made known to God. And the peace of God, 
which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and 
minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatso- 
ever things are true, whatsoever things are modest, what- 
soever things are just, whatsoever things are holy, what- 
soever things are amiable, whatsoever things are of good 
repute, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise of 
discipline, think on these things. The things which you 
have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in 
me, these do ye ; and the God of peace shall be with you. 

Deo gratias. 

After which: 

Thanks be to God. 

Then the Gradual, Tract, Alleluia, or Sequence. 

For the Sequence in Masses for the Dead, 
Dies Ira. 

Before the Gospel. 

Munda cor meum ac 
labia mea, omnipotens 
Deus, qui labia Isaise pro- 
phetae calculo mundasti ig- 
nito : ita me tua grata mise- 
ratione dignare mundare, 
ut sanctum Evangelium 
tuum digne valeam nun- 
tiare. Per Christum Dom- 
inum nostrum. Amen. 

Cleanse my heart and 
my lips, O Almighty God, 
who didst cleanse the lips 
of the prophet Isaiah with 
a burning coal : and vouch- 
safe, through thy gracious 
mercy, so to purify me, that 
I may worthily proclaim 
rhv holv Gospel. Through 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Structure of the Mass 


Dominus sit in corde tuo 
et in labiis tuis, ut dig- 
ne et competenter annun- 
ties Evangelium suum : in 
nomine Patris, et Filii, et 
Spiritus Sancti. Amen. 

V. Dominus vobiscum. 

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. 

V. Sequentia ( Vel initi- 
um) sancti Evangelii se- 
cundum N. 

R. Gloria tibi, Domine. 

The Lord be in thy heart 
and on thy lips, that thou 
mayest worthily, and in a 
becoming manner, an- 
nounce his holy Gospel : in 
the name of the Father, and 
of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. Amen. 

V. The Lord be with 

R. And with thy spirit. 

V. The continuation 
{or beginning) of the holy 
Gospel according to N. 

R. Glory be to thee, O 

Tiicu is read the Gospel, or the following may 
be used instead: 

If y£ love me, keep my commandments. And I will 
ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, 
that he may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, 
whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, 
nor knoweth him : but you shall know him, because he 
shall abide with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave 
you orphans : I will come to you. Yet a little while, and 
the world seeth me no more. But ye see me, because I 
live, and you shall live. In that day ye shall know that I 
am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He that 
bath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that 
loveth me. And he that loveth me shall be loved by my 
Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to 

R. Laus tibi, Christe. 

Per evangelica dicta de- 

Icantur nostra delicta. 

R. Praise be to Thee, 
O Christ. 

By the words of the Gos- 
pel may our sins be blotted 


The Mass and Vestments 

Nicene Creed. 

"Omitted in Masses for the Dead. 

Credo in unum Deum, 
Patrem omnipotentem, Fac- 
torem cceli et terrae, visibil- 
ium omnium et invisibil- 

Et in unum Dominum 
Jesum Christum, Filium 
Dei unigenitum, et ex 
Patre natum ante omnia 
saecula. Deum de Deo : 
Lumen de Lumine: Deum 
verum de Deo vero: geni- 
tum non factum : consub- 
stantialem Patri, per quern 
omnia facta sunt. Qui 
propter nos homines, et 
propter nostram salutem. 
descendit de coelis, et incar- 
natus est de Spiritu Sancto, 
ex Maria Virgine : ET hom- 
o factus EST. [Hie genu- 
flectitur. ] Crucifixus eti - 
am pro nobis sub Pontio 
Pilato passus et sepultus 
est. Et resurrexit tertia 
die secundum Scripturas : 
et ascendit in coelum, sedet 
ad dexteram Patris : et 
iterum venturus est cum 
gloria judicare vivos et 
mortuos : cujus regni non 
erit finis. 

Et in Spiritum Sanctum 
Dominum et vivificantem. 
qui ex Patre Filioque pro- 

I BEUEVE in one God, 
the Father Almighty, Mak- 
er of heaven and earth, and 
of all things visible and in- 

And in one Lord Jesus 
Christ, the only-begotten 
Son of God, born of the 
Father before all ages. God 
of God: Light of Light: 
true God of true God : be- 
gotten not made : consub- 
stantial with the Father, by 
whom all things were 
made. Who for us men, 
and for our salvation, came 
down from heaven, and 
was incarnate by the Holy 
Ghost of the Virgin Mary : 


[Here the people kneel 
down.'] He was crucified 
also for us, suffered under 
Pontius Pilate, and was 
buried. The third day he 
rose again according to the 
Scriptures : and ascended 
into heaven, and sitteth at 
the right hand of the 
Father: and he shall come 
again with glory to judge 
both the living and the 
dead : of his kingdom there 
shall be no end. 

And I believe in the 
Holy Ghost, the Lord and 
life-giver, who proceedeth 

The Structure of the Mass 


from the Father and the 
Son : who together with the 
Father and the Son is 
adored and glorified : who 
spake by the prophets. And 
one holy Catholic and 
Apostolic Church. I con- 
fess one baptism for the 
remission of sins. And I 
look for the resurrection of 
the dead, and the life of the 
world to come. Amen. 

V. The Lord be with 

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit. 

Then he reads the Offertory, and taking the 
paten with the Host, says: 

cedit : qui cum Patre et 
Filio simul adoratur et con- 
glorificatur : qui locutus est 
per prophetas. Et unam 
sanctam Catholicam et 
Apostolicam Ecclesiam. 
Confiteor unum baptisma 
in remissionem peccatorum. 
Et exspecto resurrectionem 
mortuorum, et vitam ven- 

turi saeculi. Amen. 


V. Dominus vobiscum. 

Suscipe, sancte Pater, 
omnipotens, asterne Deus, 
hanc immaculatam Hosti- 
am, quam ego indignus 
famulus tuus offero tibi, 
Deo meo vivo et vero, pro 
innumerabilibus peccatis, et 
offensionibus, et negli- 
gentiis meis, et pro omni- 
bus circumstantibus : sed 
et pro omnibus fidelibus 
Christianis, vivis atque de- 
functis : ut mihi et illis pro- 
ficiat ad salutem in vitam 
?eternam. Amen. 

Accept, O holy Father, 
almighty, eternal God, this 
immaculate Host, which I, 
thy unworthy servant, of- 
fer unto thee, my living 
and true God. for my in- 
numerable sins, offences, 
and negligences, and for 
nil here present, as also for 
all faithful Christians, both 
living and dead, that it may 
be profitable for my own 
and for their salvation un- 
to life eternal. Amen. 

Pouring untie and water into the chalice, he says: 

O God, who, in creating 
human nature, didst won- 
derfully dignify it, and 
bast still more wonderfully 

Dkus, qui humanse sub- 
stantia 3 dignitatem mirabi- 
liter eondidisti. et mirabil- 
itis reformasti : da nobis 


The Mass and Vestments 

per hujus aquae et vini 
mysterium, ejus Divinita- 
tis esse consortes, qui hu- 
manitatis nostras fieri dig- 
natus est particeps, Jesus 
Christus, Filius tuus, 
Dominus noster: qui tecum 
vivit et regnat in unitate 
Spiritus Sancti Dens, per 
omnia saecula saeculorum. 

renewed it : grant that, by 
the mystery of this water 
and wine, we may be made 
partakers of his Divinity 
who vouchsafed to become 
partaker of our humanity, 
Jesus Christ, thy Son, our 
Lord : who liveth and 
reigneth with thee in the 
unity of, etc. 

Offering up the chalice, he says 

Offerimus tibi, Dom 
ine, calicem salutaris, tu- 
am deprecantes clementi- 
am, ut in conspectu divinae 
Majestatis tuae, pro nostra 
et totius mundi salute cum 
odore suavitatis ascendat. 

We offer unto thee, O 
Lord, the chalice of salva- 
tion, beseeching thy clem- 
ency, that, in the sight of 
thy divine Majesty, it may 
ascend with the odor of 
sweetness, for our salva- 
tion, and for that of the 
whole world. Amen. 

Bowing dozvn, he says: 

In spiritu humilitatis, et 
in animo contrito, suscipia- 
mur a te, Domine, et sic 
fiat sacrificium nostrum in 
conspectu tuo hodie, ut 
placeat tibi, Domine Deus. 

In a spirit of humility, 
and with a contrite heart, 
let us be received by thee, 
O Lord : and grant that the 
sacrifice we offer in thy 
sight this day may be 
pleasing to thee, O Lord 

Elevating his eyes and stretching out his hands, he says: 

Veni, sanctificator, om- Come. O sanctifier, al- 

nipotens aeterne Deus, et mighty, eternal - God, and 

benedic hoc sacrificium, tuo bless this sacrifice, prepar- 

^ancto nomini praeparatum. H to thy hoh- name. 

The Structure of the Mass 


At High Mass, he blesses the incense: 

Per intercessionem beati 
Michaelis archangeli, stan- 
ds a dextris altaris incensi, 
et omnium electorum suor- 
um, incensum istud dig- 
netur Dominns benedicere, 
et in odorem suavitatis ac- 
cipere. Per Christum 
Dominum nostrum. Amen. 

May the Lord, by the in- 
tercession of blessed Mi- 
chael the archangel, stand- 
ing at the right hand of the 
altar of incense, and of all 
his elect, vouchsafe to bless 
this incense, and receive it 
as an odor of sweetness. 
Throught. etc. Amen. 

He incenses the bread and wine, saying: 

May this incense which 
thou hast blessed, O Lord, 
ascend to thee, and may thy 
mercy descend upon us. 

Incensum istud a te 
benedictum ascendat ad te, 
Domine, et descendat sup- 
er nos misericordia tua. 

Then he incenses the Altar, saying: 

DiRiGATUR, Domine, or- 
atio mea sicut incensum in 
conspectu tuo : elevatio 
manuum mearum sacrifici- 
um vespertinum. Pone, 
Domine, custodiam ori 
meo, et ostium eircumstan- 
tise labiis meis, ut non de- 
clinet cor meum in verba 
malitise, ad excusandas ex- 
cusationes in peccatis. 

Let my prayer, O Lord, 
ascend like incense in thy 
sight : and the lifting up of 
my hands be as an evening 
sacrifice. Set a watch, O 
Lord, before my mouth, 
and a door round about my 
lips, that my heart may not 
incline to evil words, to 
make excuses in sins. 

Giving the censer to the Deacon, he says: 

AccendaT in nobis Dom- 
inns ignem sui amoris, et 
flammam seternje caritatis. 

May the Lord enkindle 
in us the fire of his love, 
and the flame of everlast- 
ing charity. Amen. 

Washing his fingers, he recites the folloiving: 

Lavabo inter innocentes T will wash my hands 

manus meas : et circumda- among the innocent : and 


The Mass and Vestments 

bo altare tuum, Domine. 
Ut audiam vocem laudis : 
et enarrem universa mira- 
bilia tua. Domine, dilexi 
decorem domus tuse, et lo- 
cum habitationis gloriae 
tuae. Ne perdas cum im- 
piis, Deus, animam meam : 
et cum viris sanguinum 
vitam meam. In quorum 
manibus iniquitates sunt : 
dextera eorum repleta est 
muneribus. Ego autem in 
innocentia mea ingressus 
sum : redime me, et miser- 
ere mei. Pes meus stetit in 
director in ecclesiis bene- 
dicam te, Domine. Gloria, 

will encompass thy altar, O 
Lord. That I may hear the 
voice of praise, and tell of 
all thy marvelous works. 
I have loved, O Lord, the 
beauty of thy house, and 
the place where thy glory 
dwelleth. Take not away 
my soul, O God, with the 
wicked, nor my life with 
bloody men. In whose 
hands are iniquities : their 
right hand is filled with 
gifts. As for me, I have 
walked in my innocence: 
redeem me, and have 
mercy upon me. My foot 
hath stood in the right: 
path : in the churches I 
will bless thee, O Lord. 
Glorv, etc. 

Bowing before the Altar, he says: 

SuscipE, sancta Trinitas, 
hanc oblationem quam tibi 
offerimus ob memoriam 
Passionis, Resurrectionis, 
et Ascensionis Jesu Christi 
Domini nostri : et in honor- 
em beatse Marige semper 
Virginis, et beati Joannis 
Baptists, et sanctorum 
Apostolorum Petri et Pauli. 
et istorum et omnium Sanc- 
torum: ut illis proficiat ad 
honorem, nobis autem ad 
salutem : et illi pro nobis 
intercedere dignentur in 
ccelis, quorum memoriam 
agimus in terris. Per eun- 
dem, etc. 

Receive, O Holy Trin- 
ity, this oblation, which we 
make to thee in memory of 
the Passion, Resurrection, 
and Ascension of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and in honor 
of the blessed Mary ever 
Virgin, of blessed John 
Baptist, of the holy Apos- 
tles Peter and Paul, of 
these and of all the Saints : 
that it may be available to 
their honor and our salva- 
tion : and may they vouch- 
safe to intercede for us in 
heaven, whose memorv 
we celebrate on earth. 
Through, etc. 

The Structure of the Mass 


Turning to the people, he says: 

Orate;, fratres, ut me- 
um ac vestrum sacrificium 
acceptabile fiat apud Denm 
Patrem omnipotentem. 

R. Snscipiat Dominus 
sacrificium de manibus tuis, 
ad landem et gloriam nom- 
inis sui. ad utilitatem quo- 
qye nostram totiusque Ec- 
clesiae sure sanctre. 

He then recites th 
Which being finished, he 

V. Pkr omnia specula 

R. Amen. 

V. Dominus vobiscum. 

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. 

V. Sursum corda. 

R. Habemus ad Domi- 

V. Gratias agamus Dom- 
ino Deo nostro. 

R. Dignum et justum 

Vere dignum et justum 
est, a?quum et salutare, nos 
tibi semper et ubique grati- 
as agere, Domine sancte. 
Deus : per Christum Dom- 
inum nostrum. Per quern 
inum nostrum : per quern 
Majestatem tuam laudant 
angeli, adorant domina- 
tiones. tremunt potestates, 

Brethren, pray that my 
sacrifice and yours may be 
acceptable to God the 
Father almighty. 

R. May the Lord re- 
ceive the sacrifice from thy 
hands, to the praise and 
glory of his name, to our 
benefit, and to that of his 
holy Church. 

c Secret Prayers. 

says, in an audible voice: 
V. World without end. 

R. Amen. 

V. The Lord be with 

R. And with thy spirit. 

V. Lift up your hearts. 

R. We have them lifted 
up unto the Lord. 

V. Let us give thanks 
to the Lord our God. 

R. It is meet and just. 

Tt is truly meet and just, 
right and salutary, that we 
should always, and in all 
places, give thanks to 
thee. O holy Lord, Father 
almighty, eternal God. 
Through Christ our Lord : 
through whom the angels 
praise thy Majesty, the 
dominations adore. the 


The Mass and Vestments 

coeli coelorumque virtutes, 
ac beata Seraphim, socia 
exultatione concelebrant. 
Cum quibus et nostras vo- 
ces, ut admitti jubeas de- 
precamur, supplici confes- 
sione dicentes : Sanctus, 
sanctus, sanctus, Dominus 
Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt 
cceli et terra gloria tua. 
Hosanna in excelsis. Ben- 
edictus qui venit in nomine 
Domini. Hosanna in ex- 

powers do hold in awe, the 
heavens, and the virtues of 
the heavens, and the blessed 
Seraphim, do celebrate with 
united joy. In union with 
whom, we beseech thee that 
thou wouldst command our 
voices also to be admitted 
with suppliant confession, 
saying: Holy, holy, holy, 
Lord God of Sabaoth, 
Heaven and earth are full 
of thy glory. Hosanna in 
the highest. Blessed is he 
that cometh in the name of 
the Lord, Hosanna in the 

Canon of the Mass. 

Te igitur, clementissime 
Pater, per Jesum Christum 
Filium tuum Dominum 
nostrum, supplices roga- 
mus ac petimus, uti accepta 
habeas et benedicas, hsec 
dona, haec munera, haec 
sancta sacrificia illibata, 
in primis, quae tibi offeri- 
mtis pro Ecclesia tua sancta 
Catholica : quam pacificare, 
custodire, adunare, et re- 
gere digneris toto orbe ter- 
rarum: una cum famulo 
tuo Papa nostro N., et An- 
tistite nostro N., et omni- 
bus orthodoxis, atque Cath- 
olics et Apostolic?e Fidei 

We therefore humbly 
pray and beseech thee, 
most merciful Father, 
through Jesus Christ thy 
Son, our Lord [he kisses 
the Altar], that thou 
wouldst vouchsafe to ac- 
cept and bless these gifts, 
these presents, these holy 
unspotted sacrifices, which, 
in the first place, we offer 
thee for thy holy Catholic 
Church, to which vouchsafe 
to grant peace: as also to 
protect, unite, and govern 
it throughout the world, 
together with thy servant 
N. our Pope, N. our Bis- 
hop, as also all orthodox 
believers and professors of 
the Catholic and Apostolic 

The Structure of the Mass 


Commemoration of the Living. 

Memento, Domine, fam- 
ulorum famularumque tua- 

rum, N. et N. 

Be mindful, O Lord, of 
thy servants, men and 
women, N. and N. 

He pauses, and prays silently for those he intends to pray 
for, and proceeds: 

Et omnium circumstant- 
ium, quorum tibi fides cog- 
nita est, et nota devotio: 
pro quibus tibi offerimus, 
vel qui tibi offerunt hoc 
sacrificium laudis, pro se, 
suisque omnibus, pro re- 
demptione animarum suar- 
um, pro spe salutis et in- 
columitatis suae : tibique 
reddunt vota sua, neterno 
Deo. vivo et vero. 

Communicantes. et me- 
moriam venerantes, inpri- 
mis gloriosse semper Vir- 
ginis Mariae, genitrieis Dei 
et Domini nostri Jesu 
Christi : sed et beatorum 
Apostolorum ac Martyrum 
tuorum, Petri et Pauli, An- 
dres, Jacobi, Joannis, 
Thomse, Jacobi, Philippi, 
Bartholomaei, Matthaei, Si- 
monis et Thaddaei : Lini, 
Cleti, Clementis, Xysti, 
Cornelii, Cypriani, Laur- 
entii, Chrysogoni. Joannis 
et Pauli, Cosmae et Dami- 
ani, et omnium sanctorum 
tuorum : quorum mentis 
precibusque concedas, ut in 

And of all here present, 
whose faith and devotion 
are known unto thee : for 
whom we offer, or who 
offer up to thee, this sacri- 
fice of praise for them- 
selves, their families and 
friends, for the redemption 
of their souls, for the hope 
of their safety and salva- 
tion, and who pay their 
vows to thee, the eternal, 
living, and true God. 

Communicating with, 
and honoring in the first 
place the memory of the 
glorious and ever Virgin 
Mary, Mother of our Lord 
and God Jesus Christ: as 
also of the blessed Apostles 
and Martyrs. Peter and 
Paul, Andrew, James, John, 
Thomas, James, Philip, 
Bartholomew, Matthew, 
Simon and Thaddeus. Lin- 
us, Cletus, Clement, Xys- 
tus, Cornelius, Cyprian, 
Lawrence, Chrysogonus. 
John and Paul, Cosmas and 
Damian, and of all thy 
Saints: by whose merits 
and prayers grant that we 


The Mass and Vestments 

omnibus protectionis tuae may be always defended by 

mtmiamur auxilio. Per the help of thy protection, 

eundem Christum Domi- Through the same Christ 

mini nostrum. Amen. our Lord. Amen. 

Spreading his hands over the oblation, he says: 

Haxc igitur oblationem 
servitutis nostra? sed et 
cuncta? familise tuae, quae- 
sumus, Domine, ut placa- 
tus accipias : diesque nos- 
tras in tua pace dis- 
ponas, atque ab aeterna 
damnatione nos eripi, et in 
electorum tuorum jubeas 
grege numerari. Per 
Christum Dominum nos- 
trum. Amen. 

Ouam oblationem. tu 
Deus, in omnibus, quaesu- 
mus benedictam. adscrip- 
tam, ratam. rationabilem. 
acceptabilemnue facere dig- 
neris : ut nobis Corpus et 
Sanguis fiat dilectissimi 
Filii tui domini nostri Tesu 

Qui pridie quam patere- 
tur, accepit panem in sanc- 
tas ac venerabiles mantis 
suas, et elevatis oculis in 
cnelum ad te Deum Patrem 
suum omnipotentem : tibi 
gratias asrens, benedixit. 
fregit deditque discipulis 
suis, dicens : Accipite. et 
manducate ex hoc omnes : 



We; therefore beseech 
thee. O Lord, graciously to 
accept this oblation of our 
service, as also of thy 
whole family : dispose our 
days in thy peace, com- 
mand us to be delivered 
from eternal damnation, 
and to be numbered in the 
flock of the elect. Through 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Which oblation do thou, 
O God, vouchsafe in all 
things to make blessed, ap- 
proved, ratified, reasonable 
and acceptable, that it may 
become to us the Body and 
Blood of thy most beloved 
Son, Jesus Christ our 

Who the day before he 
suffered took bread [he 
takes the Host] into his 
holy and venerable hands 
\he raises his eyes to 
Hea^'en], and with his 
eyes lifted up toward heav- 
en, to God. his almighty 
Father, giving thanks to 
thee, did bless, break, and 
give to his disciples, say- 
ins:: Take, and eat ye all of 


The Structure of the Mass 277 

After pronouncing the words of Consecration, the Priest, 
kneeling, adores the sacred Host, and rising, he elevates 

(At the Elevation the bell is rung thrice.) 

Simili modo postquam In like manner, after he 

ccenatum est, accipiens et had supped [he takes the 

hunc praeclarum calicem in chalice in both his hands] 

sanctas ac venerabiles taking also this excellent 

mantis suas, item tibi grati- chalice into his holy and 

as agens, benedixit, dedit- venerable hands, and giv- 

que discipulis suis, dicens: ing thee thanks, he blessed, 

Accipite et bibite ex eo and gave to his disciples, 

cmnes: hic est enim saying: Take, and drink 


Hsec quotiescumque fec- 
eritis, in mei memoriam 

Kneeling, he adores, and 

Unde et memores, Dom- 
ine, nos servi tui, sed et 
plebs tua sancta, ejusdem 
Christi Filii titi Domini 
nostri tarn beatae passionis, 
necnon et ab inferis resur- 
rectionis, sed et in ccelos 
gloriosse ascensionis : offer- 
imus praeclarae Majestati 
tuae, de tuis donis ac datis, 
Hostiam puram, Hostiam 
sanctam, Hostiam immacu- 
latam, panem sanctum vitse 
seternae, et calicem salutis 

ye all of this; for this is 


As often as ye do these 
things, ye shall do them in 
remembrance of me. 

rising, elevates the chalice. 

Wherefore, O Lord, we 
thy servants, as also thy 
holy people, calling to 
mind the blessed passion of 
the same Christ thy Son 
our Lord, his resurrection 
from hell, and glorious as- 
cension into heaven, offer 
unto thy most excellent 
Majesty, of thy gifts and 
grants, a pure Host, a holy 
Host, an immaculate Host, 
the holy bread of eternal 
life, and the chalice of 
everlasting salvation. 


The Mass and Vestments 

Extending his hands, he proceeds: 

Supra quae propitio ac 
sereno vultu respicere dig- 
neris, et accepta habere, si- 
cuti accepta habere digna- 
tus es munera pueri tui 
justi Abel, et sacrificium 
Patriarchse nostri Abrahse: 
et quod tibi obtulit sum- 
mus sacerdos tuus Mel- 
chisedech, sanctum sacrifi- 
cium, immaculatam hos- 

Upon which vouchsafe 
to look with a propitious 
and serene countenance, 
and to accept them, as thou 
wert graciously pleased to 
accept the gifts of thy just 
servant Abel, and the sacri- 
fice of our Patriarch Abra- 
ham, and that which thy 
high-priest Melchisedech 
offered to thee, a holy sac- 
rifice, an immaculate host. 

Bowing down, he says: 

Supplies te rogamus, 
omnipotens Deus, jube hsec 
perferri per manus sancti 
angeli tui in sublime altare 
tuum, in conspectu divinse 
Majestatis tuae, ut quot- 
quot ex hac altaris partici- 
patione, sacrosanctum Filii 
tui Corpus et Sanguinem 
sumpserimus, omni bene- 
dictione ccelesti et gratia 
repleamur. Per eundem 
Christum Dominum nos- 
trum. Amen. 

Memento etiam, Domi- 
ne, famulorum famular- 
umque tuarum N. et N., 
qui nos prsecesserunt cum 
signo fidei. et dormiunt in 
somno pacis. 

We most humbly beseech 
thee Almighty God, com- 
mand these things to be 
carried by the hands of thy 
holy angel to thy altar on 
high, in the sight of thy di- 
vine Majesty, that as many 
of us [he kisses the Altar] 
as, by participation at this 
Altar, shall receive the 
most sacred Body and 
Blood of thy Son, may be 
filled with all heavenly 
benediction and grace. 
Through the same Christ, 
etc. . Amen. 

Be mindful, O Lord, of 
thy servants and hand- 
maids N. and N., who are 
gone before us, with the 
sign of faith, and sleep in 
the sleep of peace. 

The Structure of the Mass 


He prays for such of the Dead as he intends 
to pray for. 

Ipsis, Domine, et omni- 
bus in Christo quiescenti- 
bus, locum refrigerii, lucis 
et pacis, ut indulgeas, de- 
precamur. Per eundem 
Christum, etc. Amen. 

To these, O Lord, and to 
all that rest in Christ, 
grant, we beseech thee, a 
place of refreshment, light, 
and peace. Through the 
same Christ our Lord. 

Here, striking his breast and slightly raising 
his voice, he says: 

Nobis quoque peccatori- 
bus famulis tuis, de multi- 
tudine miserationum tuar- 
um sperantibus, partem ali- 
quam et societatem donare 
digneris, cum tuis Sanctis 
apostolis, et martyribus : 
cum Joanne, Stephano, 
Matthia, Barnaba, Ig- 
natio, Alexandre Marcel- 
lino, Petro, Felicitate, Per- 
petua, Agatha, Lucia, Ag- 
nete, Caecilia, Anastasia, et 
omnibus Sanctis tuis : intra 
quorum nos consortium, 
non aestimator meriti, sed 
veniae, quaesumus, largitor 
admitte. Per Christum 
Dominum nostrum. 

Per quern haec omnia 
Domine, semper bona creas, 
sanctificas, vivificas, bene- 
dicis, et praestas nobis. Per 
ipsum, et cum ipso, et in 
ipso, est tibi Deo Patri om- 
nipotent}, in unitate Spiri- 
tus Sancti, omnis honor et 

And to us sinners, thy 
servants, hoping in the 
multitude of thy mercies, 
vouchsafe to grant some 
part and fellowship with 
thy holy apostles and mar- 
tyrs : with John, Stephen, 
Matthias, Barnabas, Igna- 
tius, Alexander, Marcel- 
linus, Peter, Felicitas, Per- 
petua, Agatha, Lucy, Ag- 
nes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and 
with all thy Saints: into 
whose company we beseech 
thee to admit us, not con- 
sidering our merit, but 
freely pardoning our of- 
fences. Through Christ 
our Lord. 

By whom, O Lord, thou 
dost always create, sancti- 
fy, quicken, bless, and give 
us all these good things. 
Through him, and with 
him, and in him, is to thee, 
God the Father Almighty, 
in the unity of the Holy 
Ghost, all honor and glory. 


The Mass and Vestments 

V. Per omnia saecula 

R. Amen. 

Praeceptis salutaribus 
moniti, et divina institu- 
tione formati, audemus 

Pater noster, qui es in 
coelis, sanctificetur nomen 
tuum : adveniat regnum 
tuum : fiat voluntas tua si- 
cut in coelo, et in terra. 
Panem nostrum quotidian- 
um da nobis hodie: et di- 
mitte nobis debita nostra, 
sicut et nos dimittimus de- 
bitoribus nostris. Et ne 
nos inducas in tentationem. 

M. Sed libera nos a 

V. Forever and ever. 

R. Amen. 

Instructed by thy saving 
precepts, and following thy 
divine institution, we pre- 
sume to say: 

Our Father, who art 
in heaven, hallowed be thy 
name : thy kingdom come ; 
thy will be done on earth 
as it is in heaven. Give us 
this day our daily bread: 
and forgive us our tres- 
passes, as we forgive them 
that trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temp- 



But deliver us from 

He then says in a loud voice, "Amen," and continues: 

Libera nos, quaesumus, 
Domine, ab omnibus ma- 
lis. praeteritis, praesentibus, 
et futuris: et intercedente 
beata et gloriosa semper 
Virgine Dei Genitrice 
Maria, cum beatis Aposto- 
lis tuis Petro et Paulo, at- 
que Andrea, et omnibus 
Sanctis, da propitius pacem 
in diebus nostris : ut ope 
misericordiae tuae adjuti, et 
a peccato simus semper 
liberi, et ab omni pertur- 
batione securi. Per eun- 
dem Dominum nostrum 
Jesum Christum Filium 

Deliver us, we beseech 
thee, O Lord, from all 
evils, past, present, and to 
come: and by the interces- 
sion of the blessed and 
glorious Mary ever Virgin, 
Mother of God, together 
with thy blessed Apostles 
Peter and Paul, and An- 
drew, and all the Saints 
\ making the sign of the 
Cross on himself zvith the 
paten, he kisses it, and 
says] : mercifully grant 
peace in our days : that by 
the assistance of thy mercy 
we mav be alwavs free 

The Structure of the Mass 


tuum. Qui tecum vivit et 
regnat in unitate Spiritus 
Sancti Deus. 

from sin, and secure from 
all disturbance. Through 
th,e same Jesus Christ thy 
Son our Lord. Who with 
thee, in the unity of the 
Holy Ghost, liveth and 
reigneth God. 

Then he says aloud: 

V. Per omnia saecula 

R. Amen. 

V. Pax Domini sit 
semper vobiscum. 

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. 

V. World without end. 

R. Amen. 

V. May the peace of 
the Lord be always with 

R. And with thy spirit. 

In a low voice: 

Haec commixtio et con- May this mixture and 

secratio Corporis et San- consecration of the Body 

guinis Domini nostri Tesu and Blood of our Lord 

Christi fiat accipientibus Jesus Christ be to us that 

nobis in vitam aeternam. receive it effectual to eter- 

Amen. nal life. Amen. 

Striking his breast three times, he says: 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis 
peccata mundi, miserere 
nobis (tzuice). 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis 
peccata mundi, dona nobis 

Domine Jesu Christe, 
qui dixisti Apostolis tuis, 
pacem relinquo vobis, pac- 
em meam do vobis : ne re- 
spicias peccata mea, sed fi- 

Lamb of God, who tak- 
est away the sins of the 
world, have mercy upon us 

Lamb of God, who tak- 
est away the sins of the 
world, grant us thy peace. 

Lord Jesus Christ, who 
saidst to thy Apostles, 
peace I leave with you, my 
peace I give unto you ; re- 
gard not my sins, but the 


The Mass and Vestments 

dem Ecclesiae tuae : eamque 
secundum voluntatem tuam 
pacificare et coadunare dig- 
neris : qui vivis et regnas 
Deus, per omnia saecula 
saeculorum. Amen. 

Domine Jesu Christe, 
Fili Dei vivi, qui ex volun- 
tate Patris, co-operante 
Spiritu Sancto, per mor- 
tem tuam mundum vivifi- 
casti : libera me per hoc 
sacrosanctum corpus et 
sanguinem tuum ab omni- 
bus iniquitatibus meis, et 
universis malis, et fac me 
tuis semper inhaerere man- 
datis, et a te nunquam sep- 
arari permittas : qui cum 
eodem Deo Patre et Spiritu 
Sancto vivis et regnas 
Deus in saecula saeculorum. 

Perceptio corporis tui. 
Domine Jesu Christe, quod 
ego indignus sumere prae- 
sumo, non mihi proveniat 
in judicium et condemna- 
tionem : sed pro tua pietate 
prosit mihi ad tutamentum 
mentis et corporis, et ad 
m e d e 1 a m percipiendam. 
Qui vivis et regnas cum 
Deo Patre. in unitate Spir- 
itus Sancti. Deus per om- 
nia saecula saeculorum. 

faith of thy Church : and 
vouchsafe to it that peace 
and unity which is agree- 
able to thy will : who livest 
and reignest God forever 
and ever. Amen. 

Lord Jesus Christ. Son 
of the living God, who, 
according to the will of the 
Father, through the co- 
operation of the Holy 
Ghost, hast by thy death 
given life to the world : de- 
liver me by this, thy most 
sacred Body and Blood, 
from all my iniquities and 
from all evils; and make 
me always adhere to thy 
commandments, and never 
suffer me to be separated 
from thee : who with the 
same God the Father and 
Holy Ghost livest and 
reignest God forever and 
ever. Amen. 

Let not the participation 
of thy Body, O Lord Jesus 
Christ, which I, unworthy, 
presume to receive, turn to 
my judgment and condem- 
nation : but through thy 
goodness may it be to me a 
safeguard and remedy, 
both of soul and body. 
Who with God the Father, 
in the unity of the Holy 
Ghost, livest and reignest 
God forever and ever. 

The Structure of the Mass 


Making a genuflection, the Priest rises and says: 

Panem coelestem accipi- I will take the bread of 

am, et nomen Domini in- heaven, and call upon the 
vocabo. name of the Lord. 

Then striking his breast, and raising his voice 
a little, he says three times: 

DominE, non sum dig 
nus ut intres sub tectum 
meum : sed tantum die ver- 
bo, et sanabitur anima mea. 

Lord, I am not worthy 
that thou shouldst enter 
under my roof : say but the 
word, and my soul shall be 

After which he says: 

Corpus Domini nostri May the Body of our 

Jesu Christi custodiat ani- Lord Jesus Christ preserve 

mam meam in vitam seter- my soul to life everlasting, 

nam. Amen. Amen. 

He then receives the sacred Host, and after 
a short pause, says: 

Quid retribuam Domino 
pro omnibus quse retribuit 
mihi ? Calicem salutaris 
accipiam, et nomen Domi- 
ni invocabo. Laudans in- 
vocabo Dominum, et ab in- 
imicis meis salvus ero. 

What shall I render to 
the Lord for all he hath 
rendered unto me? I will 
take the chalice of salva- 
tion, and call upon the 
name of the Lord. Prais- 
ing I will call upon the 
Lord, and I shall be saved 
from mv enemies. 

Receiving the chalice, he says: 

Sanguis Domini nostri The Blood of our Lord 

Jesu Christi custodiat ani- Jesus Christ preserve my 

mam meam in vitam aeter- soul to everlasting life, 

nam. Amen. Amen. 

[Those who are to communicate go up to the Sanctuary at the 
Domine, non sum dignus, when the bell rings: the Acolyte 
spreads a cloth before them, and says the Confiteor.] 

284 The Mass and Vestments 

Then the Priest, turning to the communicants, 
pronounces the Absolution. 

Misereatur vestri, etc. May Almighty God have 

Indulgentiam, absolution- mercy, etc. May the Al- 
em, etc. mighty and merciful Lord, 


Elevating a particle of the Blessed Sacrament, 
and turning toward the people, he says: 

Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce Behold the Lamb of 

qui tollit peccata mundi. God, behold him who tak- 

eth away the sins of the 

[And then repeats three times, Domine, non sum dignus, etc.l 

He then administers the Holy Communion, 
saying to each: 

Corpus Domini nostri May the Body of our 

Jesu Christi custodiat ani- Lord Jesus Christ preserve 

mam tuam in vitam aeter- thy soul to life everlast- 

nam. Amen. ing. Amen. 

Taking the hirst ablution, he says: 

Quod ore sumpsimus, Grant, Lord, that what 

Domine, pura mente capia- we have taken with our 
mus ; et de munere tempor- mouth we may receive with 
ali fiat nobis remediuni a pure mind ; and from a 
sempiternum. temporal gift may it be- 

come to us an eternal rem- 

Taking the second ablution, he says: 

Corpus tuum, Domine, May thy Body, O Lord, 
quod sumpsi, et sanguis which I have received, and 
quern potavi, adhgereat vis- thy Blood which I have 
ceribus meis : et praesta, ut drunk, cleave to my bow- 
in me non remaneat sceler- els : and grant that no stain 

The Structure of the Mass 


urn macula, quern pura et 
sancta refecerunt sacra- 
menta. Qui vivis et reg- 
nas in ssecula saeculorum. 

of sin may remain in me, 
who have been refreshed 
with pure and holy sacra- 
ments. Who livest, etc. 

He then wipes the chaliee, zvhich he covers; and Ivaving 
folded the corporal, places it in the burse; 
he then reads the Communion. Then he tarns to the 
people, and says: 

V. Dominus vobiscum. V. The) Lord be with 


R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit. 

Then he reads the Post-Communion. 

Afterward he turns again toward the people, 
and says: 

V. Dominus vobiscum. V. The; Lord be with 


R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit. 

V. Ite, Missa est. V. Go, the Mass is 

R. Deo gratias. 


R. Thanks be to God. 

Bowing down before the Altar, he says: 

Placeat tibi sancta 
Trinitas, obsequium servi- 
tutis mese : et praesta, ut 
sacrificium quod oculis tuae 
Majestatis indignus obtuli. 
tibi sit acceptabile, mi- 
hique, et omnibus, pro qui- 
bus illud obtuli, sit, te mis- 
erante, propitiabile. Per 
Christum Dominum nos- 
trum. Amen. 

O Holy Trinity, let the 
performance of my hom- 
age be pleasing to thee: 
and grant that the sacrifice 
which I, unworthy, have 
offered up in the sight of 
thy Majesty, may be ac- 
ceptable to thee, and 
through thy mercy be a 
propitiation for me, and 
all those for whom I have 
offered it. Through Christ 
our Lord. Amen. 


The Mass and Vestments 

Then he kisses the Altar, and raising his eyes, extending, 
raising, and joining his hands, he bozvs his head to the 
Crucifix, and says: 

Benedicat vos omnipo- May Almighty God, the 

tens Deus, Pater, et Filius, Father, Son, and Holy 
et Spiritus Sanctus. Amen. Ghost, bless you. Amen. 

At the word "Deus," he turns toward the people, and 
makes the sign of the Cross on them. Then turning to 
the Gospel side of the Altar, he says: 

V. Dominus vobiscum. V. The Lord be with 


R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit. 

[The Benediction is omitted in Masses for the Dead.] 

He then begins the Gospel according to St. 
John, saying: 

S. Initium sancti 
Evangelii secundum Joan- 

M. Gloria tibi, Domine. 

In principio erat Ver- 
bum, et Verbum erat apud 
Deum : et Deus erat Ver- 
bum : hoc erat in principio 
apud Deum. Omnia per 
ipsum facta sunt, et sine 
ipso factum est nihil quod 
factum est : in ipso vita 
erat et vita erat lux homi- 
num : et lux in tenebris 
lucet, et tenebrse earn non 

P. The beginning of 
the holy Gospel according 
to St. John. 

A. Glory be to thee, O 

In the beginning was the 
Word, and the Word was 
with God. and the Word 
was God : the same was in 
the beginning with God. 
All things were made by 
him, and without him was 
made nothing that was 
made : in him was life, and 
the life was the light of 
men: and the light shineth 
in darkness, and the dark- 
ness did not comprehend 

The Structure of the Mass 


Fuit homo missus a Deo, 
cui nomen erat Joannes. 
Hie venit in testimonium 
ut testimonium perhiberet 
de lumine, ut omnes cred- 
erent per ilium. Non 
erat ille lux : sed ut testi- 
monium perhiberet de 
lumine. Erat lux vera quae 
illuminat omnem hominem 
venientem in hunc mun- 

In mundo erat, et mun- 
dus per ipsum factus est, 
et mundus eum non cog- 
novit. In propria venit, et 
sui eum non receperunt. 
Quotquot autem receperunt 
eum dedit eis potestatem 

There was a man sent 
from God, whose name 
was John. This man came 
for a witness to give testi- 
mony of the light, that all 
men might believe through 
him. He was not the light, 
but came to give testimony 
of the light. He was the 
true light which enlighten- 
eth every man that cometh 
into this world. 

He was in the world, 
and the world was made by 
him, and the world knew 
him not. He came unto 
his own, and his own re- 
ceived him not. But as 
many as received him, to 

filios Dei fieri : his qui ere- them he gave power to be- 

dunt in nomine ejus, qui come the sons of God : to 

non ex sanguinibus, neque 

ex voluntate carnis, neque 

ex voluntate viri. sed ex 

Deo nati sunt, et verbum 

CARO PACTUM EST [hie ven- 

ufleetitur], et habitavit in 

nobis : et vidimus gloriam 

ejus, gloriam quasi Uni- 

geniti a Patre, plenum 

gratia? et veritatis. 

M. Deo gfratias. 

those that believe in his 
name, who are born not of 
blood, nor of the will of the 
flesh, nor of the will of 
man, but of God. and 
the Word was made 
flesh [here the people 
kneel down], and dwelt 
among us : and we saw his 
glory, as it were the glory 
of the Only-begotten of the 

A. Thanks be to God. 

full of grace and 

When a Feast falls on a Sunday, or other day which has a 
proper Gospel of its own, the Gospel of the day is read 
instead of the Gospel of St. John. 

288 The Mass and Vestments 

The Fast Jor Mass. 

The universal rule in the Church of East and 
West enjoins that the celebrant of a Mass shall be 
fasting from food and drink, among the Copts and 
Ethiopians from the evening before, and in the 
Roman practice, from the preceding mid-night. 
Cardinal Bona ascribes the custom to an Apostolic 
origin and St. Augustine records the reason of it, 
viz: out of respect for the Holy Eucharist. 

In the ancient Church the fast was dispensed 
with on Holy Thursday in memory of the Last 
Supper, and celebrant and communicant allowed 
to receive after partaking food. The exception in 
the Coptic Church is to administer the Viaticum 
to the dying. As the Blessed Sacrament is not 
reserved among them a non-fasting priest may 
celebrate Mass night or day when such a con- 
tingency arises. 

Among us the following are the exceptions: 

(1) To complete the Mass, when the celebrant 
is disabled in or after the Consecration, and when 
the celebrant drinking from the chalice discovers 
water instead of wine. In the first instance, a 
non-fasting priest within the first hour of the in- 
terruption may finish the sacrifice. In the second, 
the same priest though consuming the water 
should consecrate wine and drink it. 

(2) To protect the Sacred Host from insult or 

The Structure of the Mass 289 

These exceptions are certain. 
The following are uncertain with a leaning to 
the affirmative: 

(1) To provide the Viaticum for the dying. 

(2) If inadvertently a priest break his fast on a 
Sunday or Holyday of obligation and a goodly 
number of the people have not heard Mass. 

(3) If a priest at the altar remember he is not 
fasting and has finished with the Consecration, he 
must proceed to the end; if the recollection pre- 
cede the Consecration, a fear of scandal or 
defamation may justify a continuance. 

Washing the hands. 

In the Western Church the celebrant washes his 
hands before vesting, and in the Eastern, after 
vesting to typify purity of heart and out of defer- 
ential reverence for the Sacred Presence. In 
early times all the faithful washed their hands on 
entering the church. The priest performs this 
ablution thrice: before vesting, after the Offertory 
and after Communion; a bishop four times: before 
assuming the vestments, after reading the Offer- 
tory, at the Lavabo and after Communion. 
The washing at the Offertory is a vestige of those 
ancient days when the bishop received the gifts 
of the people at the altar. 

Covering the Feet 

In imitation of the High Priest in the Mosaic 
Law who always officiated barefooted, Egyptian 

290 The Mass and Vestments 

monks notably, and a few others in the past, and 
Nestorians now, say Mass in their naked feet. 
Among Armenians whilst choir attendants are 
bared of foot, the celebrant wears a black slipper. 
Only at the adoration of the Cross on Good 
Friday are the ministers of the Roman rite 
allowed to doff their shoes. The rubric now 
requires the priest to wear a footgear. Formerly a 
bishop was free to select in his sandal the color 
that pleased him most. The priest, however, 
was restricted to black, and the red-peaked boot 
was especially forbidden. 


The priest dons the vestments in the sacristy; 
a bishop at the throne and altar. The explana- 
tion of this Episcopal privilege is, that formerly 
all cathedrals had in their nave a small altar at 
which the bishop sat on his way to officiate, to 
receive the veneration of the people as they entered, 
and which for this cause was called the Saluta- 
torium. Here he vested and moved in solemn 
procession to the altar. 

The Sign of the Cross. 

This is made always with the right hand on 
forehead, breast, left and right shoulder, with the 
following distribution of the formula: "In the 
name of the Father" on the forehead; "and of the 
Son" on breast; "and of the Holy Ghost, Amen," 
as the hand passes from the left to the right 

The Structure of the Mass 291 

shoulder. Until the sixteenth century and Pope 
Pius V, the custom was to carry the hand from 
the right to the left shoulder which still continues 
in the Greek Church. 

The Pope, bishops and members of the Car- 
thusian and Dominican Orders follow the primitive 
arrangement of the fingers in signing the cross 
by closing the little and ring fingers of the right 
hand, and extending the other three. The three 
extended fingers symbolize the Blessed Trinity and 
the two folded ones the twofold nature of Christ. 

The 42nd Psalm, Judica me Deus. 

Before the years of Pope Pius V this psalm was 
optional in the Mass. The new missal published 
by him made it obligatory for the first time. All 
the older Orders are exempt from our manner of 
its recitation. Because it embodies a note of joy 
and triumph it is omitted in Passiontide and from 
requiem Masses. 

The Confiteor. 

It is accepted by experts that a form of con- 
fession was always found somewhere in the Mass, 
although its form and place are not always sure. 
Merati testifies that the present formula is the 
creation of the third Council of Ravenna (1314) 
and was a composite from the many other exist- 
ing forms. According to Durandus the triple 
percussion of the breast is a reminder of the three 
essentials of Penance: contrition, confession and 

292 The Mass and Vestments 

satisfaction. When the priest ascends to the altar 
he kisses it in honor of its relics. The Dominicans 
kiss a cross traced on the altar by the celebrant, 
and a bishop first kisses the altar and then the 
gospel of the day presented to him by the sub- 
deacon in memory of the time when a painted 
cross on the missal was kissed instead of the altar. 

The Introit. 

The introit is the beginning of Mass, called in 
the Ambrosian rite Ingress, and in the Mozarabic, 
Office. It is called Introit either because it is the 
entry into the Sacrifice, or because it was sung by 
the choir when the bishop or celebrant was ap- 
proaching the altar. Its origin is credited to Pope 
Celestine (423-432) and arrangement to Pope 
Gregory the Great, The introits are taken 
usually from the psalms. Those derived from a 
different source are called irregular. Their tone 
is an index of the season and the quality of the 
Mass — joyful or sad — triumphant or penitential. 

Kyrie Eleison. 

This is called the Minor Litany. Kyrie Eleison, 
Lord have mercy on us; Christe Eleison, Christ 
have mercy on us. It is repeated in all nine 
times — thrice to each person of the most Blessed 
Trinity. The Greek is used because it is perhaps 
a more ancient liturgic tongue than the Latin, 
and because it shares with the Hebrew and Latin 
the honor of a place on the Cross. Hence as the 

The Structure of the Mass 293 

Church employs the Greek, so also she speaks the 
Hebrew in her service, like Amen, alleluia, 
hosanno, sabaoth, cherubim, seraphim. 

Gloria in Excelsis. 

Its composer and the author of its place in the 
Mass are unknown. It is called the major doxology 
and was reserved to a bishop's Mass, the priest 
being permitted to say it only on Easter Sunday. 
At Rome and Tours it was chanted in Greek and 
Latin on Christmas morning. It is excluded from 
certain Masses because of its joyous tone. The 
bishop of Bethlehem insisted on his right to recite 
it in every Mass. Pope Pius V determined its 
liturgic place. As it was reserved to bishops, and 
peace is its burden, the bishop's salutation to the 
people after its recital is "Pax vobis" instead of 
the priest's "Dominus vobiscum," in memory of 
his ancient privilege, and afterwards he uses the 
priestly salute. 

The Collect. 

The prayer is thus designated because from col- 
ligere, (to gather up) it brings together within 
its small scope the many wants of the people and 
presents them to God by the priest's ministry. 
Whilst chanting or reading the collect the cele- 
brant holds his hands extended in token of the 
primitive attitude of prayer taken by the faithful. 
Churches were devoid of pews or seats and a 
sitting posture was discouraged as incongruous 

294 The Mass and Vestments 

with the Divine Presence. The aged and feeble 
were allowed staves on which to lean and rarely 
cushions on which to sit. The rubrical attitude 
for Sundays was to stand, and for the weekdays 
to kneel. The deacon sang the warning posture 
to the people, and thus when kneeling he chanted 
"Erecti stemus honeste" (let us stand up becom- 
ingly), and when standing, "Flectamus genua 
(kneel) and "Levate" (arise), and again 
"Humiliate capita vestra Deo" (bow down 
your heads before God). The number of collects 
varies with the dignity of the Mass. The more 
solemn feasts have only one, whilst those of an 
inferior rank may have three, five or seven. One 
is the minimum; seven the maximum. Gregory 
the Great appointed one collect for all Masses. 
Innocent III (1216) testifies that in his time the 
modern number had already been introduced. 
The aggregate is uneven according to Benedict 
XIV to symbolize liturgical oneness, and as the 
sum total is odd and indivisible it better retains 
its integrity. An additional collect may be per- 
mitted by the rubrics, and the mandate of the 
Holy See, or the bishop. 

One collect denotes the mystery of unity; three 
are said for the Most Blessed Trinity or in 
memory of the triple prayer of Christ in Gethsem- 
ane; five in veneration of the five wounds of the 
Redeemer, and seven as indicative of the seven 
petitions of the Our Father. 

The Structure of the Mass 295 


At the finish of the collect the server or choir 
answers "Amen" a Hebrew word signifying 
"may it be so." Cardinal Bona says it is one of 
those words which the translators have left un- 
touched lest any wresting of it from the original 
Hebrew form might impair its beauty and force. 

The Gfadual. 

The Gradual is a response to the Epistle, and 
so called from gradus (step) because it was 
sung from the step of the ambo or pulpit. The 
object of the chant here was to hold the attention 
of the worshippers whilst the procession to sing 
the gospel was forming. 


The Gradual closes with an alleluia, which is a 
Hebrew word signifying, "praise the Lord" from 
"allelu" (praise) and "Jah" one of the names 
for God. In the Roman rite it is never used in 
penitential or requiem services. The Greek and 
Mozarabic rite employs it ostentatiously in all 

The 1 ract. 

When the alleluia is omitted the Tract com- 
posed of verses from the psalms is subjoined to the 
Gradual. Its name is derived from the Latin trahere 
(to draw out) a name descriptive of the slow 
measured manner of its chanting. Sometimes on 

296 The Mass and Vestments 

special feasts a composition called a Sequence, 
because it follows the alleluia was sung instead of 
the Tract. The most noted of these are the 
Stabat Mater, Dies Irae, Lauda Sion, Veni Sancte 

The Gospel. 

During the reading or singing of the Gospel 
the people stand, and after, the missal is kissed by 
the priest in veneration of the Word of God. 
Formerly every one in the congregation also 
kissed the Gospel. Before it is read the missal is 
"changed," that is carried from the right, or 
Epistle side, to the left, or Gospel side of the altar. 
The symbolic reason for this is the rejection of 
the Synagogue and the selection of the Gentile 
for the Gospel message. The real reason is to 
make room for the gifts of the people at the 
Offertory and the spacious paten required for the 
large Host. Whilst the Gospel was read, staves, 
decorations, crowns and sceptres were all effaced. 

The Creed. 

The Mass of the Catechumens closed with the 
Gospel and the Creed was not recited until they 
had departed. Prior to the Council of Nice (325) 
the Apostles' Creed was said in the Mass. The 
Creed now said is a Creed composed by the Fathers 
of Trent on the formulas of the Councils of Nice 
and Constantinople. The Creed of Nice was 
never a portion of the Roman Mass. That of 

The Structure of the Mass 297 

Constantinople with its fuller profession of faith 
prevailed for many centuries. The rubrics deter- 
mine when a Mass shall have a Credo. As a rule 
all Sunday Masses have the Creed in honor of the 
Resurrection, and also doctors and apostles. 
Martyrs, confessors, virgins and widows are de- 
prived of it. The Blessed Virgin and Mary Magda- 
lene as the "Apostle of Apostles" are entitled to it. 

The Offertory. 

The word comes from the Latin offerre (to 
offer). At this stage of the Mass the bishop 
moved to the railing to receive the gifts of the 
people— bread and wine, oil, incense, ears of corn 
and clusters of grapes presented, first by the men 
on clean linen cloths, and then the women with 
their cakes of fine flour and cruses of wine. Hav- 
ing received them, the bishop washed his hands 
and returned to the altar to receive the gift of 
bread made by the priests and deacons. What- 
ever was needed for the sacrifice was left on the 
altar; all else on a side table. The donors had 
their names recorded for a share of the Mass and 
it was customary for the same to receive Com- 
munion. A relic of this custom is visible in the 
Mass of the consecration of a bishop who offers 
two lighted candles, two loaves of bread and two 
kegs of wine. 

After the oblation of the bread, wine in quantity 
about a small wine glass full is poured into the 

298 The Mass and Vestments 

chalice and two or three drops of water are added. 
The reason of the mixture of water is to repeat 
what Christ very probably did at the Last Supper, 
as a custom has been enduring in the East of 
tempering the wine with water before drinking it. 
It also suggests holy Baptism, the blood and water 
that issued from His side, and the union of the 
divine and human nature in His Sacred Person. 

The prayer that follows the Lavabo is called the 
Secret because said in silence to avoid disturbing 
the singers who stood near the altar. 


It is so called because it is preliminary or intro- 
ductory to the Canon. In ancient times every 
feast had its own Preface. In the eleventh cen- 
tury the Church reduced the number to nine, and 
afterwards added two, thus making the aggregate 
eleven. Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Passiontide, 
Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, the Most Blessed 
Trinity, the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles have 
their own special Prefaces. 

The Canon. 

We now approach the most solemn part of the 
Mass. To assist recollection and to suggest pro- 
found respect it is always read in silence. In point 
of antiquity it is the most venerable portion 
of the Mass. Substantially it is identical with 
the Canon prior to Gregory the Great in the 
seventh century. It is called both Canon and 

The Structure of the Mass 299 

Action. The synonym for Canon is the Latin 
regula, a fixed standard or rule, and as applied 
to the Mass it signifies that part of it which with 
a few trivial exceptions is permanent and unchang- 
ing in its prayers and ceremonies. It was also 
called the Prayer, the Oration, the Ecclesiastical 
Rule, the Secret. The expression "Infra Action- 
em" (within the Action) is a warning that certain 
words are to be annexed to the regular prayer of 
the Canon. At the letters N. N. still repeated in 
the Missal before the Consecration and again after 
it, the Mass was delayed long enough to read 
aloud from the Diptychs or folding tablets the 
names of the living worthy of mention, and 
following the Consecration, those of the dead. 

These names were arranged in three parallel 
columns. In the first were^the names of those 
who died for the faith— martyrs, thus canonized 
because deemed worthy of being read out and 
remembered in the Canon. This was the primitive 
meaning and usage of canonization. Every new 
saint is likewise invoked and inserted in the 
Canon of the first Mass offered by the Pope after 
his solemn canonization in memory of this ancient 
practice. In the second column were the names 
of the 'spiritual and civil superiors, benefactors 
and those for whom the Mass was offered. The 
third column contained ,the names of the 

300 The Mass and Vestments 

The Elevation. 

After the Consecration of the sacred species, 
each in its turn, the priest elevates it on high for 
the adoration of the people, to the accompaniment 
of bell or gong to quicken attention. Before the 
eleventh century, there was only the minor eleva- 
tion at the "omnis honor et gloria," preceding 
the Pater Noster, which was then made nearly 
as conspicuous as the present elevation. The 
prevailing custom is a protest against Berengarius 
who denied Transubstantiation. At first there 
was only an elevation of the Host, and subse- 
quently of the chalice, after the lapse of a 

Breaking of the Host. 

The breaking or fraction of the loaf in the 
early Church was an elaborate ceremony, not 
merely for subsequent distribution, but as in the 
Gallican Church, to enable the celebrant to lay out 
the Particles upon the Corporal in some fanciful 
picture of the Lord's Body, The Mozarabic rite 
divides into nine, and the early Irish Church 
varied from five parts on ordinary days to sixty- 
five for Ascension day. The Roman practice was 
a fraction into three parts only — one part dipped 
in the chalice to represent Christ alive from the 
dead, the second consumed by the priest, and the 
third reserved for the Tabernacle. Later, the Pope 
broke off the crown of one loaf, and every bishop 

The Structure of the Mass 301 

and priest present broke many Particles from two 
consecrated loaves held before them. 

Before the regular Communion in a Solemn Mass 
was the ceremony of Sancta (holy) and in private 
Masses, Fermentum (leaven). They were similar 
in this, that they consisted in placing in the chalice 
a portion of the pre-consecrated Host reserved 
from the previous Solemn Mass said by a bishop, 
in order that all who partook of it would be 
brought into communion with all who offered at 
the Solemn Mass, and through them with Chris- 
tians from the beginning. 

As now practiced, the commixture is a distinct 
ceremony and no mere survival of the Fermen- 
tum, its object being to imitate Christ in the 
breaking of the Host, and to represent the Body 
of Christ in its glorified state through the infusion 
of the Blood which is the life unto the Crucified 

The Pax. 

After the Agnus Dei in a Solemn High Mass 
the Pax or kiss of peace is given in commemora- 
tion of the loving intercourse between Christ and 
His disciples. It is not given in a requiem Mass 
because of its mournful character, and further, 
because it was not the custom to receive Com- 
munion at such Masses, and the Pax before all 
else was a token of reconciliation between man 
and man before the reception of the Holy Eucharist. 

302 The Mass and Vestments 

Holy Communion. 

In the ancient Church the people were accus- 
tomed to receive Communion every time they 
assisted at Mass, and often in the day if they were 
fasting. Until the sixth century, the manner of 
receiving was to place the Sacred Host in the 
hands of the communicant and let him com- 
municate himself. Males received it in the 
uncovered hands arranged in the form of a 
cross, and the palm of the right hand convexed 
to forestall a danger of allowing the Host to 
fall Females were required to receive the 
sacred Particle in a hand-cloth called a Domini- 
cal, and so imperative was this restriction that 
they were denied Communion if they presented 
themselves without this clean linen cloth. With 
the relaxing of the earlier fervor a new enact- 
ment was enforced requiring all to approach Holy 
Communion on Sundays and festivals, and still 
another command to receive at Christmas, Easter 
and Pentecost. 

Finally, the Council of Lateran (1215) decreed, 
under pain of excommunication, that all the faith- 
ful who had reached the years of discretion should 
confess their sins at least once a year and receive 
Holy Communion within the Easter time, which 
normally includes Holy Week and the Easter 
octave, but which England extends from Ash Wed- 
nesday to Low Sunday; Ireland from Ash Wed- 

The Structure of the Mass 303 

nesday to the Octave day of SS. Peter and Paul, 
and the United States from the first Sunday in 
Lent to Trinity Sunday. This solemn injunction 
was afterward confirmed and renewed by the 
Council of Trent and is the requirement in vogue 

In the age of persecution the faithful were per- 
mitted to carry the Sacred Host to their homes, 
where it was reserved in a special pyx, and com- 
municate themselves when imminent death 

Until the twelfth century Communion was ad- 
ministered under both kinds. After this it began 
to be restricted to the celebrant, but did not become 
a universal custom until by order of the Council 
of Constance (1414) in protest to the teaching of 
Huss and Jerome of Prague. 

In the Saxon Church from the arrival of 
Augustine to the Reformation the English name 
for the Eucharist was the "housel," from husel 
or husle, a victim of sacrifice. To administer 
Holy Communion was "to housel;" to receive it 
was "to go to the housel," or "to be houselled." 
After the Reformation, sacrament was substituted 
for it. 

It is a matter of observation that the Speaker of 
the British House of Commons bows three times 
profoundly as he approaches his chair. The ex- 
planation is found in the reservation of the Host 

304 The Mass and Vestments 

above the Speaker's tribune in the olden Catholic 
days as a restraint and an inspiration for the law- 
makers of the realm. 

In the Eastern Church, and in certain French 
churches, bread is blessed for distribution either 
during or after the service among those who do 
not receive Communion. The Greeks call it 
Antidoron (instead of the gift) because Doron 
or gift is the name of the Eucharist, and in France 
it is known as pain benit (blessed bread). It is 
an error to call it the Eucharist, 

The custom in Paris is said to be a reminiscence 
of the siege of the city by Childeric and his 
Franks, when St. Genevieve its patroness, (died 
509) brought in a shipload of wheat to its starv- 
ing citizens. This origin is doubtful because of a 
kindred custom among the Greeks. It rather 
harks back and is an echo of the time, when 
the people brought their gifts to the church, and 
leaving a portion to the Lord, received back 
another blessed portion for themselves, as is also 
done on Candlemas day now with their gift of 

Ite, missa est. 

Formerly this invitation terminated the Mass. 
In the tenth century the custom came of blessing 
the people with a triple cross by every celebrant 
until Clement VIII reserved the triple form to 
bishops, and the single cross to priests. Requiem 

The Structure of the Mass 305 

Masses follow the ancient custom of abstention 
from a blessing. 

The Gospel of St. John was not a part of the 
Mass until by order of Pius V. Even now it is 
absent from a Carthusian, Cistercian and a Bene- 
dictine Mass at Cluny and Monte Cassino. In a 
Solemn Mass a bishop recites it as he walks to his 
throne; at Clermont the priest repeats it at the 
door of the sacristy, and in Lyons on the way 
back from the altar. 



According to present Church ordinances, 
what is required for the proper celebration of 

(1) A stone, fixed or portable, altar, conse- 
crated by a bishop. 

(2) A triple linen cloth covering the same. 

(3) Sacred vestments blessed by competent 

(4) A consecrated chalice and paten. 

(5) Linen corporal blessed. 

(6) Linen pall to cover chalice, 

(7) Linen purificator. 

(8) Missal and missal stand. 

(9) A crucifix, and not merely a cross. 

(10) Two lighted wax candles. 

(11) Burse, veil, finger towels and two glass 

(12) Bread and wine. 

(13) A regularly ordained priest who has ob- 
tained and not forfeited the Episcopal permission 
to celebrate Mass. 

The Requisites of the Mass 307 

Wliat is an Altar? Whence its name? 

An altar is a table on which Mass is offered. 
It is derived from a Latin word which is synono- 

mous for a "high 
thing or structure." 
The other title Ara 
or altar, as found in 
the name of that 
celebrated Roman 
altar platform Church, Ara Coeli, 

has its origin in a Greek word which means to 
elevate or lift up. Because this latter title also 
meant a funeral pyre and was identified with 
pagan worship, it was rejected by early Christian 
writers as bearing any relation to a Christian altar. 

What ivas the material of Altars in the 
early Church? 

The tradition is provable that the Apostles and 
their disciples, in imitation of Christ, celebrated 
Mass on wooden altars. The Lateran basilica and 
the church of St. Pudentiana in Rome possess, 
the first an entire, the second a fragment of a 
wooden altar on which St. Peter is said to have 
offered Mass. Even in primitive times there were 
also altars of stone and metal. 

In the Roman Breviary — Office of the Dedica- 
tion of the Basilica of the Holy Saviour, November 

308 The Mass and Vestments 

9 — it is recorded that Pope Sylvester (314) the 
contemporary of Constantine the Great, who gave 
the Church a legal status, decreed that henceforth 
altars should be constructed only of stone, and in 
the sixth century the Council of Epaon (517) en- 
joined that only stone altars may be hallowed 
with holy chrism. This reference to Pope Syl- 
vester seems unhistoric, for the reason that such 
a decree is non-existent, and further, because 
wooden altars were in use in many churches down 
to the Middle ages. The requirement of stone 
altars yet prevails the universal custom even when 
altars are of wood and only provisional structures, 
because they must have a consecrated altar stone 
in their mensa or table, large enough to carry the 
host, chalice and ciborium for their Consecration. 

What is the significancy of the Altar? 

According to the Roman Pontifical in the 
ordination of a sub-deacon, the altar is a figure of 
Christ. "The altar truly of the Church is Christ 
Himself, according to the testimony of John, who 
in his Apocalypse witnesseth that he saw a golden 
altar standing before the throne, on which and by 
whom the offerings of the faithful to God the 
Father are hallowed." It is of stone because in 
Sacred Scripture Christ is likened to a stone and a 
rock, St. Paul (1 Cor. X. 4) testifying that, "the 
rock however was Christ," and St. Peter, (1 Peter, 
II, 4, 6) "Unto whom coming as to a living stone, 

The Requisites of the Mass 309 

rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made 
honorable by God; be ye also as living stones built 
up, a spiritual house." 

From which St. Thomas Aquinas (Part. III. q. 
83, Art. 3) concludes the propriety of the present 
discipline which insists that only altars of stone be 
erected, and on them alone the holy Mass be cele- 

What are the requisites oj an Altar that 
Mass may be celebrated on it? 
An altar should be: 

(1) Of stone, and 

(2) Consecrated by a bishop. 

7s Mass ever permissible save on an Altar? 

The Church never allows even to missionaries 
the celebration of Mass except on, at least, a por- 
table altar, or consecrated altar stone, (Decree of 
September 2, 1780). Whilst the need of a conse- 
crated altar stone is imperative for the lawful 
celebration of Mass, Berardi and Genicot teach that 
in case of necessity, it is permitted to offer Mass 
on an altar stone that has lost its consecration by 
breakage, opening of the sepulchre, or deprivation 
of its relics. 

How many kinds oj Altars are there? 


(1) A fixed altar, using the term "fixed" in a 
strict sense. This altar has two essential elements: 


310 The Mass and Vestments 

A lower construc- 
tion, or base of 
stone, brick or iron 
with no intercept- 
ing wood, and a 
stone mensa, or 
table joined tightly 
to it by some ad- 
hesive material, the whole constituting a permanent 
structure built on a solid foundation. In the surface 
of this table is cut a small receptacle called a sepul- 
chre for the relics of the saints enclosed in it, under 
a small stone square called a seal. This sepulchre 
may be otherwise placed as hereafter mentioned. 
When there is mention of a consecrated altar this is 
the sort of structure required and contemplated. 

(2) A fixed altar, employing the term "fixed" 
in a less restricted sense. It consists of an un- 
consecrated structure, stable and fixed, and of a 
movable consecrated altar stone which is inserted in 
its upper surface and may be removed from it with- 
out impairing its fixity. 

(3) A portable altar 
called also a Viaticum. 
The designation applies 
either to the entire struc- 
ture, movable from place 
to place, or only to the 
consecrated stone which 
is placed in or on its table. 








The Requisites of the Mass 311 

What is the rule determining the celebration 
of Mass on a Portable Altar? 

If erected in a holy place, like church or chapel, 
the privilege belongs to every priest competent to 
say Mass. This designation of place does not in- 
clude the private cells of a monastery, nor, very 
probably, any room not connected with the 
monastic chapel or sacristy. 

Bishops by an inherent and ordinary right may 
for just cause say Mass in any becoming place on 
a consecrated stone. 

By special permission of the Holy See, the same 
privilege is given to priests of offering Mass on a por- 
table altar in an unblessed and unconsecrated place. 

How does an Altar forfeit its consecration? 

A canonically fixed altar is desecrated by a 
notable fracture of the table or of the supports. 
A fracture is notable by its extent and location. 
If the table were broken into two or more large 
pieces; if one of the columns which support the 
table at the angles were removed; if several stones 
were displaced from the substructure destroying 
the moral identity of the support; if there be a 
slight breakage of the stone, where the unction 
was made at its consecration, in each instance the 
fracture would be notable and deconsecrating. 
The same result follows if for any reason the 
table were removed from the support, or only 
raised from its base even to renew the cement, 

312 The Mass and Vestments 

and also by the removal of the relics, or by the 
fracture or removal by chance or design of the 
small stone slab or cover placed over the sepulchre. 
(2) Other altars are deprived of their consecra- 
tion if the altar stone is so badly fractured as to be 
unable to hold the chalice and Host. Whether the 
dislocation of any of the lateral crosses from the 
rest of the altar stone is followed by a similar 
result is disputed, with Lemkuhl inclining to the 
negative. It is also desecrated by the lack or the 
despoiling of the sacred relics, by the fracture of 
the sepulchre containing the relics, and by the 
breaking of the seal which covers the sepulchre. 
If the sepulchre and seal are newly annexed with 
plaster of Paris without exposing the relics the 
stone does not lose its consecration. 

Are the dimensions of an Altar defined? 

The dimensions of an altar are not prescribed 
either by the rubrics or the Sacred Congregation 
of Rites. It should, however, be large enough to 
allow a priest conveniently to celebrate Mass upon 
it and observe all the ceremonies decorously. An 
altar for solemn services should be larger than 
other altars. St. Charles Borromeo, however, in 
his "Instructions on Ecclesiastical Buildings," says 
that the High Altar ought to be from 3 feet 2]/ 2 
inches to 3 feet 3% inches high above the level 
of the platform or predella on which the cele- 
brant stands; 6 feet 10^ inches or more in length 
and at least 3 feet 5 % inches wide. 

The Requisites of the Mass 313 

What is the Sepulchre of an Altar or Altar 

It is a small square or oblong opening in altar 
or altar stone in which are deposited the relics of 
at least two canonized martyrs. To these may 
be added the relics of the other saints, especially 
of those in whose honor the church or altar is 
consecrated. These relics must be actual portions 
of saints' bodies and not merely of their garments 
or objects which they used or touched, They 
must also be verified as genuine. They are 
placed in a case of lead, silver or gold, large 
enough to contain in addition to the relics three 
grains of incense and a small piece of parchment 
on which is written an attest of the consecration. 
This parchment is sometimes enclosed in a vessel 
of glass to save it from decay. In size it con- 
forms to the needs of its contents, being ordinarily 
4 inches long, 4 inches wide and 2]/ 2 inches deep. 

Where is the Sepulchre or Confession of the 
Martyrs located? 

The location of the sepulchre is either: 

(1) At the back 
of the altar mid- 
way between i t s 
table and foot. 

(2) At the front 
of the altar in the 
same relative po- 


The Mass and Vestments 

( 3 ) In the table at its centre somewhat towards 
the front edge. 

(4) In the cen- 
tre on the top of 
the base or support 
if it be solid. Lo- 
cation 3 is the most 
convenient, but 
then a table must 
be provided of a thickness of nearly f j four inches 

since the cover of 
the sepulchre, al- 
ways required, 
ought to be about 
three - quarters of 
' an inch thick. 



Why are the Relics of Martyrs deposited in 
Fixed Altars and, in an Altar Stone, or Portable 

(1) To commemorate the dark ages of the 
Church — the age of the Catacombs when the 
Holy Sacrifice was 
offered on the tombs 
of the martyrs. 

(2) To respond 
to the prayer of 
the celebrant, who 
kissing the altar in 
the beginning of Mass, prays for forgiveness "by 
the merits of the saints whose relics here repose." 


The Requisites of the Mass 315 

(3) To represent and realize on earth the 
vision of St. John in the Heavenly Jerusalem 
where, "he saw under the altar the souls of them 
that were slain for the word of God and for the 
testimony which they held." (Apocalypse, Ch. 6, 
v. 9.) 

(4) When St. Ambrose discovered the bodies 
of the martyrs Gervasius and Protasius he placed 
them under the altar and said: "The triumphal 
sacrifices are to be placed where the propitiatory 
sacrifice of Christ is commemorated. Upon the 
altar is He that suffered for us all; beneath the 
altar are they who by His sufferings were redeemed 
— the martyrs are entitled to this resting place." In 
a similar strain thus St. Augustine discourses: 
"Rightly do the souls of the just rest beneath the 
altar, since on it the Body of Our Lord is im- 
molated. Quite properly by reason of a certain 
fellowship in suffering, so to speak, do the martyrs 
receive burial in the place where the death of the 
Lord is daily commemorated." 

What is the significance of the Three Grains 
of Incense deposited tvith the Relics? 

Incense is always suggestive of prayer and 
praise, and in this instance, the triple grain is a 
symbolic earnest of the intercession of the Divine 
Victim and these holy martyrs to the Most Blessed 
Trinity in our behalf. The triple grain and also 
the incense burned in the anointed crosses may 

316 The Mass and Vestments 

signify the sweet spices with which the Body of 
Christ was embalmed. 

What is the antiquity of this custom of en- 
tombing Relics and Incense in Altars? 

It is ascribed to Pope Felix in the third century. 

Were only Relics so deposited? 

Garments of the saints, instruments of their 
torture, relics of the true Cross, precious docu- 
ments, like the alleged authentic letter of the 
Blessed Virgin at Messina, Sicily, and the Sacred 
Host were also buried in altars. The custom of 
enclosing the Blessed Eucharist in altar structures 
prevailed in England until the fifteenth century. 

May Altars be receptacles for these sacred 
objects now? 

Altar and altar stones now can only receive 
portions of the flesh and bone of martyrs and 
confessors, apostles and virgins with the three 
grains of incense, and the record of its consecra- 
tion, whilst the Sacred Host is peremptorily ex- 
cluded, and remains of the true Cross and all 
other relics cannot be inserted unless by permis- 
sion of the Holy See. 

What is the custom of the Eastern Church 
with reference to Altars? 

Their altars also must be constructed of stone. 
In the absence of an altar they are, however, per- 

The Requisites of the Mass 317 

mitted to celebrate Mass on a leaf of the gospel 
and on certain cloths called Antimens, (anti, 
instead of, and mensa, a table or altar). They 
are usually silken and sometimes linen like our 
corporals. They measure about sixteen inches 
square and have the date of their consecration, the 
name of the consecrator and a representation of 
the burial of Our Lord worked into or stamped 
upon them. They are consecrated by a bishop 
with holy oil, incense and pulverized relics com- 
bined, and after Mass has been offered on them 
seven times they are said to be hallowed. The 
Syrians arbitrarily may employ slabs of wood 
called Mensae, instead of altars. 

What is the rule relative to Altar Canopies 
in Roman Churches? 

The Ceremonial of Bishops directs that a canopy 
or baldachin be suspended over altars, expansive 
enough to protect altar and platform where the 
celebrant stands from dust and any foreign body 
falling from the ceiling. It may be attached to 
the wall or reredos and hung from the ceiling. 
In Rome it is usually a stationary structure of 
marble, metal or wood, highly decorated and 
raised on four columns. It is also called a 
ciborium because the ciborium or pyx containing 
the Eucharist was suspended from it. 

What is peculiar about Papal Altars? 

The primitive shape of altars approximated a 

318 The Mass and Vestments 

table set up on a platform, without tabernacle and 
altar steps, such as we now employ for candle- 
sticks and ornaments. Instead of standing against 
the wall of the apse, it stood well forward leaving 
a goodly space about it, and the celebrant took 
his position on the reverse side of it, and looked 
across it out toward the people and the portals of 
the church, which very frequently fronted the 
East. This antique arrangement is still exempli- 
fied in the papal altars in the Roman Basilicas, 
and particularly in St. Peter's, where the Pope 
when he offers Mass looks (simultaneously) at the 
people, the church entrance and the East. 

How does the Pope Celebrate Mass at this 

The Papal Mass of the present day contains 
many customs of the earlier Liturgy. This great 
ceremony takes place on Easter, Christmas and 
St. Peter's day, June 29. The deacon and sub- 
deacon at this Mass are both Cardinals. 

The Epistle and Gospel are read in both Latin 
and Greek. The Pope elevates the Host at the 
centre and toward each side of the altar. The 
Cardinal deacon of the gospel makes a second 
"ostention," elevating first the Host and then the 

The Pope returns to the throne after the Lord's 
prayer and "Pax Domini," and the deacon brings 
the Host to him, the Pope kneeling while the 

The Requisites of the Mass 319 

deacon comes from the altar to the throne, but 
rising to receive holy Communion. 

There have been many discussions concerning 
the Communion of the throne, and as far back as 
Innocent III we find in this Pope's writing: "The 
Roman Pontiff does not communicate where he 
breaks"— that is, where he breaks the Host in the 
Mass— "he breaks at the altar, but communicates 
at his seat; the reason for this being that Christ 
broke the bread before the disciples at Emmaus 
but ate before the twelve apostles at Jerusalem." 

St. Bonaventure writes that this rite may ex- 
press the Passion of our Lord, who suffered 
exposed to the general view, with every one pass- 
ing around Him. It is certain that the deacon 
bringing the Eucharist to the Pope is a very 
ancient ceremony, coming down from the days 
when the saying of Mass was in every way — in act 
and signification — made a united and a common 
action, and when the bishop did not perform all 
the Liturgy at the altar, as the celebrant of the 
Mass of the present day does. 

At the Elevation in the Pope's Mass no bell is 
rung. The ancient rubric directed that the bell at 
Consecration should be rung at a low Mass but 
not at a High Mass, when it is easier to follow the 
action of the celebrant. This explains how the 
clear-toned silver trumpets came into use. These 
trumpets are sounded from within the dome of 

320 The Mass and Vestments 

St. Peter's at the Consecration during the Pope's 
Mass, a sound which has been seldom heard since 
the eventful year of 1870. 

The Pax is given at the usual place by the 
Pope to the Cardinal bishop (who as assistant 
priest represented the archbishop of Rome of olden 
times) then the two assistant Cardinal deacons, 
keeping the kiss of peace for the Cardinal deacon 
of the gospel until after Communion. On other 
occasions in his low Mass in our times the Pope 
kisses the instrument called the pax, introduced 
in later times. In other ways the Pope's low 
Mass does not differ from that of any other 

What is the modern construction of Altars? 

They are furnished with steps for candlesticks 
and ornaments, and with a small enclosed struc- 
ture midway for the reservation and custody of 
the Blessed Sacrament. 

What is this structure called? 

It is called a Tabernacle. 

Whence the name Tabernacle? 

From the Latin word taberna (hut or inn). 

What is the object of the Tabernacle? 

To guard and hold the consecrated Hosts con- 
tained in their sacred repositories, such as ciborium, 
pyx or luna for the Ostensorium, Benediction, 
Viaticum and Communion of the faithful. 

The Requisites of the Mass 321 


May then the Blessed Eucharist be kept in 
every Tabernacle? 

No. Only (1) in that of every cathedral and 
parish church. 

(2) In chapels of religious communities whose 
members take solemn vows. 

(3) By special Apostolic and Episcopal permis- 
sion in other churches, oratories, public and 
private chapels. In the United States the facul- 
ties of the bishop fix the limits of this permission 
and the frequency of the Mass celebration as a 
condition for its enjoyment. 

322 The Mass and Vestments 

Is it allowable to keep the Sacred Host in 
more than one Tabernacle in the same church? 

It is to be kept on one altar and in one taber- 
nacle only in each church. This is to be, ordinarily, 
the tabernacle on the high altar in parish and other 
churches. It may be temporarily transferred to 
another altar for Communion and Benediction, 
and during the months of May and June for the 
convenience of May and June devotions. In 
cathedrals and very large parish churches, it may 
be permanently placed in side chapels so as not to 
interfere with pontifical and other solemn cere- 

How would it interfere with these cere- 

Such ceremonies at best are very complicated. 
Facility and simplicity of movement is most de- 
sirable. In the absence of the Blessed Sacrament 
a mere inclination of the head is sufficient recog- 
nition of the crucifix as the officiating ministers 
move to and fro. If the Blessed Sacrament is in 
the tabernacle the reverence must assume a genu- 
flexion, and movement would be restrained more 
or less out of deference to the presence of God on 
the altar. 

Has the Sacred Host been always kept in a 
Tabernacle in a church or chapel? 

Not alwavs, because the tabernacle with which we 
are familiar is comparatively a modern construction. 

The Requisites of the Mass 323 

How was the Sacred Host Reserved in 
Primitive Times? 

"Because," according to St. Cyprian, "the Holy 
Eucharist is a food unto salvation," there has 
always prevailed the custom of reserving the 
Blessed Sacrament for the sick and well in some 
form. In the time of persecution, the first chris- 
tains kept the Eucharist at home and gave Com- 
munion to themselves. According to a Lapide, 
Mary, Queen of Scots, was vouchsafed this same 
privilege during her long prison life. It was also 
sent from bishop to bishop as a sign of Christian 
comity. It was also carried by lay persons as a 
protection against danger, a custom which must 
have continued well into the Middle ages, as St. 
Thomas a Becket carried the Eucharist with him 
when he went to meet Henry II, and by permis- 
sion of the Papal Legate, St. Louis was similarly 
privileged on his Crusades. Not only was the 
Host given the dead, but it was also buried with 
the dead, as in the case of St. Benedict and St. 
Basil. The pen was sometimes dipped in the Con- 
secrated wine in subscribing decrees of Councils, 
and in the instance of Pope Theodore when he 
condemned the heresiarch, Pyrrhus. When Pope 
Urban II dedicated the abbey church of Marmou- 
tier, he deposited three portions of the Host in the 
altar and sealed them with cement. All these 
abnormal uses of the Blessed Sacrament have long 
since been abrogated by Papal and conciliar decrees. 

324 The Mass and Vestments 

What is the Oldest Form of a Place for 
Reserving the Blessed Sacrament? 

In a chamber at the side of the church corres- 
ponding to our Sacristy, and called therefrom, 
Thalamus (chamber or inner-room). Later it 
was kept in an ambry set up in a corner of the 
church, or on a column, such as we now have for 
the holy oils. The oldest tabernacle had the form 
of a detached tower, placed in a side chapel or 
near the gospel side of the high altar. Constan- 
tine gave one of gold and jewels to St. Peter's, 
Rome, and Innocent I and Hilary I also gave 
tower-tabernacles to St. John Lr.teran and the 
church of St. Gervase and Protase of the same 
city. This tower form was subsequently suc- 
ceeded by tabernacles in the shape of a covered 
cup, a small box, and a dove suspended above or 
behind the altar. This latter tabernacle may yet 
be seen in France and Spain. As a rule, the place 
of the Eucharistic reservation is accessible in every 
church for purposes of prayer and worship. In 
the cathedral of Terceira, one of the Azores, the 
Host is, however, kept in a tabernacle of solid 
silver in a deeply recessed chapel, the entrance to 
which is closed by locked doors. 

What is the explanation of this form of Re- 
servation as compared with more modern 

The solution is to be sought in the gradual 

The Requisites of the Mass 325 

development of a specific devotional feeling 
toward the Blessed Sacrament which culminated 
in these later days in the union of altar and 
tabernacle, sacrifice and sacrament, which in primi- 
tive times and many centuries after were entirely 
distinct from one another. 

In the early and Middle ages the idea connected 
with the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament was 
not, as now, that of worship, but of viaticum. 
Devotion to the Real Presence then found its full 
response in the sacrifice of the altar. The Divine 
Victim was adored as truly present, but present 
to be sacrificed. In the tabernacle, as it then was, 
the precious remnants of the sacrifice were re- 
served for the sick unable to be present. To pro- 
vide for other communicants, who, at most, 
approached the altar four or five times a year 
and on certain great festivals, the parish priests, 
knowing the number of communicants, conse- 
crated the required number of Particles in the Mass. 

After the Reformation and toward the end of 
the sixteenth century, the Church encouraged 
frequent Communion as an antidote to the attacks 
of heresy and as nourishing faith and fervor. 
This practice of frequent communion at uncer- 
tain times emphasized the inconvenience of a 
tabernacle separate from the altar, and led to the 
adoption of a receptacle immediately upon the 
altar itself in order that sufficient Hosts might be 
at hand to give to the faithful. 

326 The Mass and Vestments 

In the Middle Ages hoiv was the Host re- 

Before the construction of the tabernacle, as we 
know it, the following were the methods of re- 

(1) On the Gospel side of the altar, rarely on 
that of the Epistle, and sometimes on the east 
wall of the sanctuary behind the altar, a small 
cupboard or recess, closed with strong doors or an 
iron grille, called Ambry (armarium or arma- 
riolum — the chest in a Roman house for food, 
clothing, money, etc. ) 

(2) A pyx hung by chains or silken cords from 
the altar canopy covering the altar of large 
churches, or from a roof beam in smaller ones, 
having its own little cone-shaped canopy of silk or 
cloth of gold usually surmounted by a crown of 
gold or silver, and sometimes a triple crown. This 
manner of reservation had very probably a Byzan- 
tine origin introduced into France and Spain in 
the sixth or seventh centuries, and afterwards 
into England, although Italy never favored it. 

( 3 ) Sacramenthausen in Germany ( Sacrament 
house), also in Scotland of a simpler form, was an 
elaborated detached structure standing near the 
wall, rising high, with pinnacles and crockets and 
roof like a church tower adorned with figures of 
angels and saints and emblems of the Blessed 
Sacrament and of the Passion. 

The Requisites of the Mass 327 

(4) Under the altar. Thus the statutes of 
Liege in 1287 directed that "the Lord's Body 
should be zealously guarded under lock and key, 
either in some becoming place beneath the altar, 
or in the "Armarium"— -or wall ambry. In 
Notre Dame, Paris, the Host with the vestments 
was placed in a cupboard, called the conditoire, 
under a small altar behind the high altar. 

(5) In some parts of France the Blessed Sacra- 
ment was kept in a small portable casket, which 
was placed on the altar during Mass and then re- 
moved. This practice never received Episcopal 
approval and the safer ambry was recommended. 

(6) With the dawn of the Reformation and the 
outbreak of violence directed against the altar and 
receptacles of the Sacred Host as vestiges of an 
idolatrous age, more secure methods were intro- 
duced for the custody of the Blessed Sacrament. 
As forecasting the coming day, the Provincial 
Synods of Canterbury (1280-81) under Archbishop 
Peckham, direct that "a tabernacle be constructed 
in each parish church with lock and key," (cum 
clausura), and the Synod of Exeter (1287) pre- 
scribes for each parish church "an immovable 
stone receptacle for the Sacrament," {Sacramen- 
tarium lavideum et immobile) , whilst the Coun- 
cil of Lateran (1215) fixed the norm of care by 
decreeing that the Blessed Sacrament was always 
to be kept under lock and key for fear of sacrilege. 
The unsafety and inconvenience of the suspended 

328 The Mass and Vestments 

pyx, and the dampness of the recessed ambry 
begot in time the ornate, isolated Sacrament 
House, which was eventually supplanted by the 
modern tabernacle as an altar adjunct, because of 
the awakened desire of the people for more fre- 
quent Communion. 

What is the position oj the Modern Taber- 

It should be firmly and permanently fixed to the 
base of the altar, to the rear, and flanked with the 
altar steps (for candlesticks). It should be at least 
2 feet ?>y 2 inches from the front edge of the altar 
to give sufficient space to the corporal and the 
chalice and ciborium in the sacrifice of the Mass. 
It should not be so far removed from the front as 
to demand a special step for the priest when he 
wishes to take out the Blessed Sacrament. 

What is the material of the Tabernacle? 

Precious metal, marble or wood, always more or 
less decorated. When constructed of metal or 
marble it must have a lining of wood to prevent 

What is its form? 

The form is optional. It may therefore be 
eight or six-sided, square or round, and of any 
form of architecture to suit the altar or church. 
The size will depend upon its needs and the pro- 

The Requisites of the Mass 329 

portions of altar and church. Although the rub- 
rics are silent on the revolving tabernacle, yet it 
does not seem to conform to liturgical propriety 
and it has never been tolerated in Rome. The 
same is true of the bi-lateral or double compart- 
mented-tabernacle, one of which serves the 
ordinary uses of a tabernacle, and the other is 
furnished with a revolving contrivance for the 
carriage of the ostensorium at the time of Ex- 

What of the decorations of the Tabernacle? 

Only the altar crucifix is allowed, and this with 
limitations, to stand on the tabernacle. Not only 
is it forbidden to place reliquaries, statues, pic- 
tures, flowers, etc. on the tabernacle, but also in 
front of the tabernacle door to conceal the door 

The inside of the tabernacle should have over 
the wooden lining a covering of cloth of gold, 
white silk, or linen. To exclude dust, an inside 
curtain of white silk in the door space is recom- 
mended, though not prescribed. A corporal is 
spread over the bottom. Only the Blessed Sacra- 
ment and the sacred vessels containing it, or not 
as yet purified, can be placed in it. It is to be 
securely fastened with lock and key. There 
should be two keys of silver, or of iron gilded or 
silvered. These are never to be left in the taber- 

330 The Mass and Vestments 

nacle door, nor in any open place, but, whether of 
church or chapel tabernacle, the key is to be 
always under the personal custody of the priest. 
When the Blessed Sacrament is removed, the 
tabernacle door should be left ajar and the light 
extinguished lest the people be led into error con- 
cerning the Real Presence. 

Should the Tabernacle be Blessed? 

Its blessing is not mandatory, as the blessing of 
the ritual seems rather intended for the ciborium 
and pyx. It is, however, commendable to bless it 
with the same form, which may be done by any 
priest who has the requisite faculty. 

What are the Tabernacle Adjuncts or 
Appur tenances ? 

Three. The Canopy, Tabernacle Lamp and 
Throne of Exposition or Thabor. 

What is the Canopy? 

It is that tent-like mantle made of precious 
material, like silk, brocade, cloth of gold, etc., 
which is sometimes used to cover the tabernacle, 
and, dividing in the front shows the tabernacle 
door. It is not in general use, nor is it of obliga- 

What is the Tabernacle Lamp? 

The Requisites of the Mass 


It is the lamp which must 
continually burn, night and 
day, before the tabernacle 
in honor of the Blessed Sac- 
rament whilst it is there 
present. It may hang either 
by a chain from the ceiling 
in front of the tabernacle, 
or from brackets on the side, 
if these brackets are in 
the sanctuary and not be- 
hind the tabernacle. The 
Ceremonial of bishops re- 
commends that if there be 
more than one lamp, the 
number should be uneven, 
like three or five. 

What Kind of Oil must 
be Burned in these Lamps? 

Olive oil is prescribed. Oil 
containing between 60 and 
65 per cent of pure olive oil is supposed to be 
legitimate. Where olive oil is not procurable the 
bishops may allow other oils, as far as possible, 
vegetable, and also beeswax, in the same propor- 
tion as the rubrics prescribe for the candles at 
Mass. Where neither olive oil nor vegetable 
oil can be procured, the bishop, according to the 
opinion of theologians, would be justified in per- 



The Mass and Vestments 

mitting the use of kerosene. Gas and electricity 
are forbidden as substitutes for oil and candles. 

What is a Throne of Exposition or Thabor? 

An ornamental elevation usually of metal, on 
which the Blessed Sacrament is placed when 
exposed in the os- 
tensorium. There 
is no need of a 
Thabor when the 
altar has a canopy 
over its tabernacle, 
where the Exposi- 
tion is made. The Thabor should have a 
canopy under which the ostensorium is placed. 
(Decree of April 23, 1875, S. R. C.) Hence the 
ordinary Thabors constructed without canopies 
are unrubrical. Its use should be reserved exclu- 
sively for the Blessed Sacrament. 




What is a Privileged Altar? 
An altar to which is attached a plenary indul- 
gence applicable to the souls in Purgatory. 

Who has the Authority to enrich an Altar 
with this Privilege? 

Primarily, the Holy See. Secondarily, with us 
the bishops exercising a power delegated to them 
by the Holy See have, ordinarily, the power of 
granting a local privileged altar to any church or 
chapel where parochial functions are performed. 

To whom does this privilege apply? 

To every priest, secular or religious, who law- 
fully says Mass according to the rubrics on the 
aforementioned altar. 

Is this Episcopal Power limited by any con- 

It cannot be exercised except in a church or 
chapel where there is no other altar of the same 

How is this condition interpreted? 
It is understood as designating an altar identi- 
cally privileged for the same class of persons. 

334 The Mass and Vestments 

May there be more than one Privileged Altar 
in the same Church? 

There cannot be two altars privileged in the 
same terms. There may be, however, one privi- 
leged altar for the deceased members of a religious 
society, like the Holy Family or Living Rosary, 
and another for the faithful departed generally, 
without restriction to this or that class. 

Does not one Privilege nullify the other in 
this case? 

The Sacred Congregation of Indulgences (May 
21, 1742) answered in the negative, because the 
altars are not similarly privileged. 

Is there any time limit affixed to a Privileged 

Some are privileged for All Souls and the Forty 
Hours devotion, others for seven years, and others 
in perpetuity. 

Can the limited privilege be interchanged 
for the perpetual one? 

If the petitioner neglects to mention the exist- 
ence of an altar already temporarily privileged, the 
grant of a perpetual privilege is invalid. If it is 
mentioned with the date of expiration, the tem- 
porary privilege is supposed to be annulled by the 
perpetual privilege; otherwise, two similarly privi- 
leged altars would exist in the church at the 
same time. 

Privileged Altar 335 

When did the custom of privileging Altars 

The date is uncertain. Some attribute it to St. 
Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth century; 
others, like Bellarmine and Biel, to Paschal I (817- 
824). This Pope built the church of St. Praxedes 
and as one of its chapels was said to contain the 
pillar of Scourging, its altar was privileged in 
honor of this memorial of the Passion. It is in- 
disputable that Gregory XIII (1572-1585) did 
privilege the altar of St. Nicholas in the church of 
St. Augustine at Bergamo, and because of this, 
Thiers taught that the practice began with this 
pontiff. This statement, however, cannot be true 
because there is extant a decree of his predecessor, 
Julius II in 1552, granting the same favor, and 
Gregory XIII in the Indult enriching the cathedral 
of Narni with a privileged altar mentions that the 
church of St. Gregory at Rome was already in the 
enjoyment of the same prerogative. 

How is the Privilege divided? 

It is local and personal; local, when attached to 
a particular altar; personal, when granted to the 
priest himself without reference to the altar. 

What is required in the Altar before it can 
be Privileged? 

It must be a fixture, not fixed in the liturgical 
sense. A fixed altar is one whose slab or table 

336 The Mass and Vestments 

and base, always stone, are permanently united 
and the line of juncture annointed to signify that 
they together constitute the altar. A fixture 
means a structure of stone or wood of a perma- 
nent kind, visible in most of our churches, and 
commonly called the altar. Because it is a 
fixture, it is differentiated from a temporary altar 
which is erected for a particular feast, or occasion, 
or for a transient season of devotion. 

In this case, is the Privilege given the Altar 
or the stone? 

It is given the altar. Therefore, the privilege 
is not forfeited if the altar stone be removed and 
another inserted, or if the same stone be used on 
different altars. 

7s the Privilege ever attached to an Altar 

The altar stone is known as a portable altar. 
To it may be annexed the privilege by special 
Indult. To make the grant valid, special mention 
of a portable altar must be made in the petition, 
although not in the answer. 

What is the Official Interpretation of the 
term "Fixture" as it affects the permanency 
of the Privilege? 

It does not so attach that if the structure were 
damaged or totally destroyed, or even another 

Privileged Altar 337 

altar substituted for it, the privilege would neces- 
sarily be forfeited. 

If the privilege is granted to an altar because 
of a special title, or as dedicated to some mystery 
or saint, as, for example, the Sacred Heart or 
Blessed Virgin or St. Aloysius, this title is recorded 
in the Indult and the privilege is lost when the 
title is changed. 

If the privilege is given to an altar because it 
possesses a statue or a picture of special devotion 
mentioned in the Indult, it lapses with the destruc- 
tion or removal of this possession. 

If the privilege endows a high altar specifically, 
it is lost by any alteration which degrades the 
high altar to a secondary and inferior rank. 

Therefore, a mere change in the altar does not 
necessitate a loss of the privilege. A new altar 
may be substituted for the old, differing from it 
in material, shape and dimensions; it may even 
have a new situs in the church and yet retain its 
privilege. The same tenacity of privilege holds 
in the case of a new church and new altar if it 
occupy the place of a former one. A difference of 
locality, or a transfer of the altar to another 
church, however, carries with it a forfeiture of 
the privilege. 

What are the conditions necessary to obtain 

the Plenary Indulgence of a Privileged Altar? 

(1) A Mass of requiem must be said when 

338 The Mass and Vestments 

permitted by the rubrics. When not allowed, the 
Mass of the day will suffice. 

(2) The indulgence and the application of the 
Mass being identical, the indulgence must be 
given to the soul for whom the Mass is offered. 

(3) The indulgence and Mass must be applied 
to one soul only, even on the feast of All 

(4) Other indulgences, e. g. a plenary by his 
Communion, obtained by the celebrant on a privi- 
leged altar, are his personal asset to be applied 
where he listeth. 

(5) These other indulgences, even plenary, 
cannot be substituted for the failure to obtain the 
indulgence of the privileged altar. 

What is the Special Fruit of a Mass on a 
Privileged Altar? 

A plenary indulgence applicable to a soul in 

What is a Plenary Indulgence? 

The liquidation of all the temporal debt due God's 
justice because of our sins, or the remission of all 
the temporary punishment due our sins after their 

Who declares an Indulgence? 

The Holy See for the whole Church, unre- 
strictedly, and cardinals, apostolic nuntios, arch- 

Privileged Altar 339 

bishops and bishops within their respective 
jurisdictions, restrictedly. 

Whence is the fruit fulness of an Indulgence 


From the "Treasury of the Church," by which 
is meant the infinite deposit or collection of the 
merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and saints, 
which suffice to satisfy for all guilt and penalty. 
The redemptive efficacy of Christ's life and death 
and the penitential value of the works of the 
saints, which exceeded their own needs, contribute 
the inexhaustible resources of the Church treas- 
ury wherein are coined indulgences and from 
which, they, as an all-sufficient medium of pay- 
ment and absolution from temporal penalties, are 

Can an Indulgence remit sin? 

An indulgence can neither be a license to com- 
mit sin, nor a forgiveness of it. Neither does it 
touch the guilt of sin, nor the eternal penalty due 
a mortal sin. Where they are promulgated as 
implying a forgiveness of sins and their penalty, 
they are either spurious, or the term "sins" must 
be taken for the temporal punishment incurred by 
the sin. An unforgiven sin is a hindrance to an 

How is the term derived? 

From an old Latin court word "Indulgentia," 
which juridically meant pardon or amnesty. 

340 The Mass and Vestments 

What are the conditions to gain an In- 

(1) For the living: 

(a) That the seeker of the indulgence must 
be a subject of the authority granting it. 

(b) That he ought to be in a state of grace, at 
least when he executes the last condition prescribed 
for its gaining. 

(c) That he must have an intention of winning 
the indulgence. 

(d) That he must perform all the conditions of 
prayers, alms, visits, etc., ordered by the Church. 

(2) For the dead: 

(a) The definite announcement of such an 
indulgence by the Holy See, which reserves to 
itself all such indulgences. 

(b) At least an habitual intention of applying 
these to the dead. 

(c) Whether a state of grace is required in one 
who seeks an indulgence for the dead has never 
been decided. It is almost certain, however, that 
the indulgence of a privileged altar, whether local 
or personal, is gained by a celebrant who is not in 
the state of grace. 

Is this Plenary Indulgence oj a Privileged 
Altar infallibly obtained? 

It is when all the conditions are observed. 

Privileged Altar 341 

When is it Plenary? 

It is plenary only as it is gained by the celebra- 
tion of the Mass. 

Is the Indulgence Plenary in its application? 
It is not necessarily plenary in its application. 

Does the Soul limit its Efficacy? 
The soul cannot, because it is confirmed in 
grace and has no affection for even venial sin. 

Does the Church limit it? 
Neither in will nor in resources does the Church 
limit it. 

Does the Celebrant limit it? 
The celebrant complies with all the conditions 
and, therefore, does not limit it. 

How explain the uncertainty in the measure 
of the application of the Indulgence? 
It arises from two causes: 

(1) The dead are entirely in God's hands, hav- 
ing gone from the jurisdiction of the Church, 
though not beyond the magic circle of the Com- 
munion of saints or the reach of prayers and 

(2) In the absence of all special revelation, and 
such is not to be expected, we know nothing of 
the burden of debt which a departing soul 
staggers under as it approaches the other world, 

342 The Mass and Vestments 

nor how often God's grace has been unheeded 
and His mercy abused. We know nothing of 
the decrees of God's justice as to their severity 
or duration in the purging and disciplining [of 
such a soul. 

How is the Indulgence applied? 

It is offered to God by the Church as a plenary 
indulgence and its acceptance as such is besought, 
but because we are ignorant of God's designs and 
purposes in the case of every soul, and all de- 
liverance and refreshment must conform to the 
laws of His justice, we cannot, therefore, be ab- 
solutely sure in what measure God accepts our 
tender of a plenary indulgence. All depends on 
the good pleasure of God. 

What is this mode of application called? 
It is called "after the manner of a suffrage." 

What does "Suffrage" mean? 
Here it signifies according to the medieval 
Latinists, alms, aid, or payment. 

Hoiv is the personal privilege of a privileged 
Altar obtained? 

By petition to Rome, and, ipso facto, by virtue 
of a religious title and a form of religious heroism. 

Who enjoy the personal privilege by the 
second method? 

Privileged Altar 343 

The priests of the Minor Conventuals of St. 
Francis when, according to the constitutions of 
their Order, they offer Mass for a deceased Pope, 
cardinal protector, king, superiors, associates 
and their parents. The personal privilege of a 
privileged altar every day is also, ipso facto, 
shared by a priest who has made the heroic act, 
i. e. resolved to offer by the hands of the Blessed 
Virgin all the expiatory merits of his good works, 
and shall say, when allowed, his Masses for the 
dead and use black vestments. 

Is there any other form of privileged Altar? 

There is the Gregorian altar, and altars with a 
similar privilege variously erected by permission 
of the Pope and called Gregorian altars ad instar, 
or similar to. 

What is the type of the Gregorian Altar? 

It is an altar in the church of St. Gregory on 
the Coelian hill, Rome, which according to tra- 
dition is so exceptionally privileged that a Mass 
celebrated on it will surely liberate the soul from 
Purgatory for whom offered. This confidence is 
even declared "pious and approved" by the Sacred 
Congregation of Indulgences (March 15, 1884). 

The same Congregation also approved of thirty 
Masses to be said on consecutive days on this altar 
after the example of St. Gregory, with the almost 
certain hope that they, through the intercession 

344 The Mass and Vestments 

of the saint, would issue in eternal rest for the 
soul. Whilst mention of the Masses is found in 
his Dialogues, the certain efficacy of the Masses 
has never been decided by the Church and is more 
a pious belief than an authorized doctrine. 

Bibliography: American Eccles- Review, March, 1889; 
Irish Eccles. Record, 1881, p. 362; Waplehorst, 4th. Ed. 
Benzigers, 1892, no. 35; Noldin, S. J., Theologia Moralis, 
1904; Catholic Dictionary (Addis & Arnold) 1884, p. 440; 
Genicot, S. J., Theologia Moralis, 1900, vol. II. 




How many Altar Cloths are there? 

Strictly speaking the term applies only to the 
triple cloth covering the table of the altar. There 
are besides, the antependium, the cere-cloth or 
chrismal, the vesperal, and, until the eleventh cen- 
tury, the corporal, which prior to that date covered 
the entire table of the altar above the triple cover- 
ing, and since then has been gradually shrinking 
into the proportions it has now. 

What is the material of the 7 rivle Altar 

It must be made of linen or hemp. No other 
material is allowed, even though it may equal or 
surpass the linen for whiteness, cleanliness and 
firmness. (Decree of May 15, 1819). 

Do they require a blessing? 

They must be blessed by the bishop or one hav- 
ing the necessary power. In the United States 
this power is granted by bishops to priests in 
general. Mass may be offered licitly only on an 
altar which is covered with three altar cloths 
already blessed. 

346 The Mass and Vestments 

What is the number of these cloths and their 

They must be three. The two lower cloths 
must cover the entire table of the altar, whether 
it be a portable or consecrated fixed altar. They 
need not however be distinct pieces. One cloth 
turned back on itself and made to cover the altar 
twice, from the Epistle to the Gospel end, will 
suffice. The top cloth must be single and reach 
to the foot of the altar on both ends. The front 
edge overlapping the altar, and the two extremi- 
ties may be ornamented with lace or embroidery 
in colors. 

Why are three cloths appointed? 

In honor of the Most Blessed Trinity, according 
to Gavantus. 

When is the earliest mention oj them? 

In the fourth century, at which time they were 
not spread on the altar until after the exclusion 
of the catechumens, or before the Offertory of the 

What is the real and symbolic significancy 
of these Altar Cloths? 

Their real use is to secure the cleanliness of the 
altar and to absorb the Sacred Species, if by any 
accident the chalice were overturned. Symboli- 
cally, as the altar represents Christ, they are a 
figure of the faithful christians by whom the 

Altar Cloths 347 

Lord is surrounded, as if by precious garments. 
They also typify the linen wrappings in which 
the body of Christ was enveloped in the tomb, and 
the material hemp out of which they are woven 
bespeaks the purity and piety of the devout at- 
tendants at the sacrifice. The ceremony of Holy 
Thursday, when the altar is stripped of its cover- 
ings and ornaments, suggests also that those linens 
represent the garments of the Saviour of which 
He was denuded in His Passion. 


What is the Antependium or Pallium? 

The antependium is an appendage which covers 
the entire front of the altar, from the lower part 
of the table to the platform, and from the Gospel 
corner to that of the Epistle. If the altar is so 
placed that its back can be seen by the people, it 
should likewise be covered by an antependium. 

What is the Material of the Antependium? 

The material is not prescribed by the rubrics. 
It is usually made of the same material as the 
sacred vestments. The Ceremonial of bishops 
recommends that for the solemn festivals more 
precious and elaborate antependia be used — of 
gold and silver cloth, embroidered silk, etc. 

What is the Color oj the Antependium? 
The Missal directs that, so far as possible, the 

348 The Mass and Vestments 

antependium should correspond in color with the 
feast or office of the day. The exceptions are: 
when the Blessed Sacrament is publicly exposed 
the antependium must be white, whatever may be 
the color of the vestments; in a solemn or chanted 
requiem Mass at an altar, in the tabernacle of 
which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, a violet 
instead of a black antependium must be used. 

What is the Liturgical Ornamentation of an 

Pictures of Christ or some facts in His life; 
emblems of the Blessed Sacrament such as a peli- 
can, chalice, host and lamb; representations of the 
saint in whose honor the church and altar are 
dedicated to God, and emblems referring to such 
saint. A skull, cross-bones, etc. are barred from 
portraiture on a black antependium. The same 
prohibition in reference to antipendia of other 
colors applies to anatomical representations of 
the Sacred Heart of our Lord and of the Mater 
Dolorosa, apart from the person of Christ and His 
Blessed Mother. 

How is the Antependium attached to the 

By hooks or buttons inserted under the table of 
the altar, or it may be pinned to one of the lower 
altar cloths. It is also sometimes stretched on a 
light wooden frame and fitted tightly under the 
altar table. To protect it from injury, a wooden or 

Altar Cloths 349 

metal guard about three inches wide is placed at its 
lower extremity, resting on the platform of the altar. 

Is the use of an Antependium always neces- 

Assuming that the antependium is intended as 
an ornament, if the altar is of stone, marble or 
decorated wood and the table supported by 
columns more or less artistic, the ornamental 
character of the altar is already secured and the 
antependium may be dispensed with. Neverthe- 
less, on solemn festivals, and in the Advent and 
Lent the appropriate antependium would be a fit- 
ting adjunct of the services. 

Must the Antependium be blessed? 

There is no blessing prescribed for the ante- 


How does the Cere-Cloth derive its name? 

From cera (wax) because it is waxed on one 

Is it known by any other name? 

It is also called a chrismal, because it covers and 
protects an altar anointed by holy chrism. 

What is its use? 

It is used to cover the table of a consecrated, fixed 
altar by turning the waxed side toward it in such 
manner that it shall be completely covered by it. 

350 The Mass and Vestments 

Why is it thus employed? 

Its purpose is to prevent the altar cloths from 
being stained by the sacred oils used in the conse- 
cration, and to intercept the humidity or damp- 
ness which may form on the cold surface of the 
stone table of the altar. It is therefore placed 
under the altar cloths and next to the altar. 
Whilst it is an auxiliary to the triple altar cloth, it 
is never to be substituted for one of the three 
necessary coverings of the altar. 

What is its material? 

It must be a white linen cloth reinforced by a 
covering of melted wax on one side. 

Is it ever removed? 

It is to remain the permanent shield on the 
altar against oil stain and dampness, and although 
it may be removed temporarily at the stripping of 
the altar on Holy Thursday and whenever the 
altar is washed, it must be replaced again under 
the three altar cloths and upon the altar table 
with its waxed surface next to the table. 

Is it ever blessed? 

The chrismal is not blessed. 

§ 3. — ALTAR COVER. 

What is the Liturgical name oj this Altar 

It is called a vesperal. 

Altar Cloths 351 

Why is it called Vesperal? 

From Vespera (even-tide, or evening) because 
it is only used after all the sacred functions are 
finished, and as these occupy the day hours, this 
extra covering is employed towards evening and 
during the night. The name, however, must not 
be too rigidly interpreted, as according to the 
general practice, altar services may conclude in the 
morning hours and be resumed again in the after- 
noon and night. The rule is, in the intervening 
time between these functions, the altar is to be 
protected by the vesperal. 

Why is the Vesperal used? 

To save the altar cloth from stain and soil. 

What is its Material? 

Linen, silk, wool, satin, velvet or velveteen. 

What are its Size and Color? 

It should be wider and longer than the altar to 
secure ample protection for the altar linens. The 
color is entirely optional. St. Charles Borromeo, 
however, expressed a preference for green. The 
front edge and extremities may be embroidered, 
or ornamented with fringes. It is not blessed. 
When the altar is in use for some sacred function, 
the vesperal must be entirely withdrawn and not 
merely folded back on the altar. (Decree, June 2, 



What is the Chalice? 

The chalice is the Eucharistic cup in which the 
wine is consecrated in the Mass. In primitive 
times it was also the communion cup from which 
the laity received the Most Precious Blood when 
Communion under both species was allowed. 

By what Name is it known in Romantic 

The Holy Grail. 

How is the name derived? 

From Sang real (real, royal, true blood). 

Specifically, what is meant by the Holy 

Either the Most Precious Blood of Christ col- 
lected at the Crucifixion and preserved in an 
emerald cup, or the cup used at the Last Supper 
and alleged to have been brought to England by 
Joseph of Aramathea. With a delicate consistency 
does christian tradition entrust the Holy Grail to 
the custody of Joseph of Aramathea, for it was 
he who "buying fine linen wrapped Him up in it 
and laid Him in a new sepulchre, wherein never 
yet any man had been laid." 

The Chalice and Paten 353 

In the Middle Ages where was the Holy 
Grail much sought for? 

In the fantastic, weird mountain range of 
Monserrat in Spain. 

Is it claimed now as the possession of any 
place or Church? 

The church of St. Lorenzo in Genoa, and 
Valentia in Spain claim its possession. 

What is the Value of these Claims and the 
whole Episode of the Holy Grail? 

Genoa and Valentia very probably possess very 
ancient chalices, but the "quest of the Holy Grail" 
is a pious romance, and any alleged title to its 
possession historically defective. 

Is the Material of the Chalice of the Last 
Supper known? 

It is not known with certainty. Tradition is 
divided between crystal and glass, agate and 
silver. Its shape was that of an amphora or 
goblet, or loving cup with handles on both sides, 
and its capacity that of a sextary, or about one 
pint and a half. 

What was the Material oj Ancient Chalices? 

Gold, silver, onyx, sardonyx, chrysolite, marble, 
stone, glass, wood, horn, ivory and pewter. The 
witticism of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr: 
"Formerly golden priests used wooden chalices; 

354 The Mass and Vestments 

now wooden priests use gold chalices," has also an 
historical value as indicating the usage. Gasparri, 
however, (De Sanct. Eucharistia, p. 79) ventures 
a doubt whether wooden, marble and horn chalices 
were ever legitimate and suggests their use was 
always an abuse and only sporadic. Cardinal Bona 
cites certain councils in which the use of these 
chalices is severely censured. The testimony of 
relics and frescoes confirms the opinion that glass 
chalices were often in use in the catacombs. 

How many kinds of Chalices were in vogue 
in the Ancient Church? 

Three — Offertorial, Ministerial and Baptismal. 
The Offertorial chalice was the Mass-chalice used 
only by the celebrant in which the wine was con- 
secrated. It had also its own paten, both very 
much larger than in a later day. 

The Ministerial chalice was employed in dis- 
pensing the Precious Blood to lay communicants. 
It was called scyphus (cup) and had a paten of 
its own and a double handle like a loving cup. It 
was the deacon's duty to care for it and give Com- 
munion from it. The custom of administering 
Holy Communion under both species necessitated 
for these chalices unusual dimensions. When the 
number of communicants was very great, the 
priest used the large ministerial chalice in the 
Mass, and mingled with the Precious Blood 
ordinary wine in small proportions that the supply 

The Chalice and Paten 355 

might not run short. In the act of Consecrating 
he never, however, used more than one chalice. 

The Baptismal chalice contained the milk and 
honey given to the newly baptized adults at the 
early Easter Mass. Its offering to infants accord- 
ing to some authors seems incredible. 

How many kinds of Chalices are now in 
Only one— the Offertorial. 

When did the others go into disuse? 

The Baptismal chalice had but a brief existence 
in the early Church, and the ministerial began to 
wane in the twelfth century, to be wholly sup- 
pressed by the Council of Constance (1414). 

Why did the Church alter her Discipline re- 
garding Lay Communion under both Species? 

To discredit and repudiate the error of Huss, 
Jerome of Prague, Jacobellus of Misnia and Peter 
of Dresden, who publicly censured the Church for 
having refused the people Communion under both 
kinds, and proclaimed the damnation of all who 
received only under one species. 

Setting aside the impossibility of reserving the 
Holy Eucharist under the species of wine in cer- 
tain seasons, the danger of desecration, the 
difficulty of a wine supply and the sanitary con- 
siderations now broached where the dual Com- 
munion is in vogue, the Church has always taught 

356 The Mass and Vestments 

that Christ is whole and entire under each species 
of bread and wine and, therefore, Communion is 
complete with either. 

Were there any exceptions to this rule for- 
bidding Communion under the Form of 

The kings of France at their coronation and 
death received under both species, also the deacon 
and sub-deacon of a Papal High Mass, the monks 
at Cluny, and the deacon and sub-deacon in the 
monastery of St. Denis on special days. 

What is the proper material of the Modern 
Chalice according to present Church require- 

The general law of the rubrics requires, that, 
at least, the cup of the chalice be solid gold or 
silver, and if the latter, then its interior where it 
comes in contact with the Sacred Species should be 
gold gilt, or inaurated. Whilst it is desirable 
that the entire chalice be of the same material, 
there is no impropriety, nor is permission re- 
quired for the use of a chalice whose stem and 
base are of a decent, solid and suitable, though 
inferior quality. 

What are the exceptions to the above custom? 

For reasons, the Church allows the use of 
chalices made of: 

(a) Stannum (not tin, but an alloy of silver 

The Chalice and Paten 357 

and lead) because impervious to rust, providing 
the interior of their cups be gold-gilt. 

(b) White metal, with cups ungilt inside, 
(decree of June 6, 1847,) at the prayer of the mis- 
sionaries in the East Indies, China and adjacent 

(c) Aluminum, combined with other metals 
(decree of December 6, 1866) provided the cups 
outside be silver-gilt, or electroplated, and inside, 
gold-gilt. This decree is omitted from the recent 
collection published in 1900, and so its sanction 
vanishes. In 1866 the Congregation of Rites for- 
bade the consecration of all chalices not conform- 
ing to approved regulations. 

What are the Reasons jor These Excep- 

Poverty, necessity, as in an era of persecution, 
and a difficulty of procuring the more precious 
metals. With their disappearance, chalices of the 
approved metals must be used. 

Poverty Compelling, is a formal Permission 
required for the Use of a Stannum (Silver and 
Lead) Chalice? 

Gasparri answers in the negative. 

Hoiv are Chalices divided as to their Shape? 

Into three classes: Gothic, Roman and Renais- 


The Mass and Vestments 




The Gothic chalice has a cup fashioned in form 
like a tulip, and sometimes oval like the larger 
half of an egg. Its handle is longer than in the 
Roman chalice, with sharp corners which are also 
introduced into the moulding of the knob and 
foot, having ordinarily six and eight sides. 

The Roman chalice is constructed on perfectly 
circular lines in the shape of cup and foot, whilst 
the handle generally consists of a short stem 
whose centre forms a round knob. 

The Renaissance chalice is a more or less grace- 
ful blending of the Gothic and Roman. These 
three forms of chalices are permissible. 

The most practical chalice is that in which the 
cup gradually widens towards the lip, without 
ending in an abrupt edge. This is the defect of the 
Gothic chalice of medieval pattern, and the large 

The Chalice and Paten 359 

surface over which the contents are distributed 
when brought towards the rim, as the chalice is 
turned, exposes to great danger of spilling. Like- 
wise, if the cup be narrow, as in many Roman 
chalices, it will be found that some drops of the 
ablutions still remain at the bottom which have 
not been touched or absorbed by the purificator. 
The knob should be smooth and round and not too 
large, as the celebrant must hold the chalice at the 
Elevation and Communion between the index and 
middle fingers, and the sharp corners of the Gothic 
patterns give pain when the chalice has to be 
lifted in that position. Safety also demands that 
the foot of the chalice be broad and heavy to pre- 
clude the danger of overturning. Although not 
required by the rubrics, it is desirable to have a 
cross engraved or set upon the foot of the chalice 
to align the side at which the Sacred Species is 
consumed by the celebrant, in order that the 
ablutions may be taken from the same part. 

Family coats-of-arms and inscriptions of a per- 
sonal character cannot be placed on the outer 
surface of chalices, but may be engraved at the 

Hoiv many parts are there to a Chalice? 
The rubrics refer to three parts: cup (cuppa); 
the handle (nodus); and the foot {pes). 

What formerly in general and now with limi- 
tations are the accompaniments oj the Chalice? 

360 The Mass and Vestments 

The fistula (reed, tube) and the cochlear 
(spoon). The first was a small tube or hollow 
reed of gold, silver, glass or ivory through which 
the Precious Blood was communicated to the 
people from the large ministerial chalice. When 
that custom disappeared, it entered the sanctuary 
and began to be used by the assisting bishop and 
the sacred ministers. St. Paul's, London, had in 
1295, two reeds of silver-gilt. Bishop Leofric of 
Exeter donated a "silfren pipe" to its cathedral, 
and as late as 1200 the cathedral of Pavia had 
reeds of glass. Within a recent date the silver 
tube was used in the monastery of Cluny and St. 
Denis, Paris, on Sundays and Holydays by the 
celebrant and his assistants. It is said the custom 
still continues by special Papal indult in the 
monastery of St. Denis, near Paris, among the 
Benedictines of St. Maur. With this exception, the 
practice has entirely vanished, except further in 
a solemn Mass offered by the Pope, when he 
receives the contents of the chalice through a 
reed of gold. His deacon receives in the same 
manner, but the sub- deacon directly from the 
chalice. In some instances, these reeds were 
attached to the chalice, and for purifying them a 
long golden needle was employed after they had 
first been rinsed with wine and water. 

The second instrument is a small gold or silver 
spoon to measure the water taken from the cruet 
and mixed with the wine at the Offertory of the 

The Chalice and Paten 361 

Mass. Its purpose is the avoidance of an excessive 
admixture of water. Its use is legitimate, though 
not obligatory. It is very commonly seen in Spain. 

The holy fan (Sacrum Flabellum) was in 
use until the sixteenth century, made of gold, sil- 
ver, parchment and ostrich feathers, furnished 
with a long ivory handle. It was one of the 
sacred instruments entrusted to a deacon at his 
ordination. It was the duty of one or two 
deacons to stand at one or both sides of the cele- 
brant, and by the waving of this fan, from the 
Offertory to the end of Communion, drive away 
flies and other troublesome insects from the priest 
and the sacred oblation. It is yet a sacred 
auxiliary in the Mass of the Eastern Church. 

The strainer (colum) was shaped like a large 
spoon, made of silver and perforated with a great 
number of small holes through which the wine 
was poured into the chalice and thus filtered from 
all impurities. 

The comb (pecten) was another liturgical im- 
plement made of gold, silver and ivory and used 
for the purpose of keeping the celebrant's hair in 
order during the service. The bishop's hair was 
arranged by the deacon and sub-deacon when he 
donned his sandals. When the celebrant arose 
and doffed his cap the assistant combed his hair. 
It is still in evidence in the Eastern Church where 
the priests wear a full beard after the manner of 
the patriarchs. 

362 The Mass and Vestments 

Must Chalices be Consecrated before use in 
the Mass? 

From time immemorial, the custom prevailed 
that chalices must be consecrated with appropriate 
prayer and unction before their use in the Mass is 

Will not a bona fide Consecration of the Wine 
in an Unblest and Unannointed Chalice Conse- 
crate it? 

An unconsecrated chalice used even knowingly 
by the Pope at his Mass is ipso facto consecrated. 
Chalices are frequently given the Papal sacristan 
to be blest in this way. 

In every other instance, a Mass said with an 
unblest chalice does not bless it, nor supersede 
its formal consecration, although the efficacy of 
the Papal Mass under similar circumstances has 
led many liturgists astray as if the Mass were 
always all-sufficient. 

The Sacred Congregation has, however, often 
decided that a chalice consecrated by a person 
unlawfully delegated should not be reconsecrated 
if Mass with it has followed after. If the error is 
discovered before the Mass its reconsecration is 
indispensable, unless grave reasons stand in the 
way, such as scandal for those who witnessed the 
first consecration, etc. 

If a bishop or one having the faculty of conse- 
crating within the limits of a diocese or congre- 

The Chalice and Paten 363 

gation exceed those limits, the consecration, 
though the act was illicit, is valid and not to be 

Who has the power oj Consecrating a Chalice? 

(a) Bishops in their own dioceses and other 
bishops at their request. 

(b) Abbots in and for their own monasteries 
only by special Papal permission. 

(c) Priests only by indult of the Holy See. 
The privilege of wearing Episcopal insignia does 

not include a faculty of consecrating the chalice. 
Bishops may share with priests the faculty of 
blessing the sacred vessels which need no unction, 
but the annointed and chrismed vessels belong 
exclusively to them. 

How does a Chalice lose its Consecration? 

(a) When the slightest break appears in the 
cup near the bottom. It is otherwise if the 
fracture is trivial and near the upper edge, per- 
mitting the contents to be consecrated without 

(b) When a very noticeable break appears in 
any part, making it unbecoming to use it. 

(c) When the cup is wrenched from the stem, 
making the intervention of a worker in metals 
necessary for their juncture. 

(d) If the different parts are held together by 
a rod and nut under the base, the breakage of 

364 The Mass and Vestments 

this rod, or its detaching from the cup would 
make a reconsecration of the chalice, perhaps, 

(e) When it is regilt. A chalice does not lose 
its consecration by the wearing of the gilt, for 
the reason that the entire chalice is consecrated. 
It is however unfitted for its special use of conse- 
crating in it, since the rubric requires that it be 
gilt on the inside. After being regilt, the celebra- 
tion of Mass with this chalice will not supplant 
the need of its special consecration. 

(/) When it is employed by heretics for any 
profane use, e. g., for a drinking cup at table. 

The custom of desecrating a chalice or other 
vessel by a blow from the hand, or some instru- 
ment before giving it to an electro-plater for 
regilding is positively forbidden. (Decree of S. 
C. R. April 23, 1822.) 

Who may Touch the Chalice? 

Ordinarily, and apart from special necessity, the 
chalice, if consecrated, may not be handled by any 
but clerics in major or minor orders. 

In some localities even minor orders will not 
confer the privilege. If it contains the Precious 
Blood, it cannot be touched under pain of mortal 
sin by any person, even with a cloth or gloves, 
except priests and deacons. The Sacred Congre- 
gation of Rites permits the sub-deacon to carry 
the chalice, though not purified, from the altar to 

The Chalice and Paten 


the credence table at the first and second Mass of 

Permission for lay persons to touch the sacred 
vessels must be obtained from the bishop, which 
faculty is usually granted through pastors and 
religious communities. 

The custom in vogue in some places of allowing 
the people to kiss the consecrated 
paten is an abuse. 

What is the Paten or Patin? 

A small metal dish shaped 
like a saucer, covering the chalice, 
on which the bread to be conse- 
crated in the Mass is placed at 
the Offertory, and which shares 
with the corporal the privilege 
of carrying the Sacred Host. 

How is the name derived? 

From the Latin patina and 
the French patene (a shallow 
dish). The Greeks call it discon (dish or tray). 

Was the Paten used by Our Lord at the 
Last Supper? 

The New Testament is silent as to its use and, 
therefore, it is uncertain. The records prove, 
however, that it was introduced into the Mass 
service at a very early period, The primitive 
paten was much larger than the modern. 


366 The Mass and Vestments 

Why was the Paten larger in the Ancient 

Because it was the substitute for our ciborium 
and had to carry the very large Host or loaf 
broken up into particles for the Communion of 
the people. The word particle is still used, al- 
though no longer broken. The Liber Pontificalis 
mentions some that weighed twenty-five or thirty 

Why does the Sub-deacon in a Solemn High 
Mass hold the Paten Elevated? 

Because of its magnitude it could not remain 
on the altar, and it was not decorous to place it 
on the credence table or in the sacristv. The 
Roman ritual, therefore, consigned it to the sub- 
deacon to hold aloft as a signal of approaching 
Holy Communion and the need of preparation. 
The Church follows the same practice now, al- 
though by no means warranted by the abridged 
size of the Paten. This ceremony is wanting in 
a requiem Mass because until very lately Com- 
munion was not given, and, therefore, the large 
Paten was not used. 

Why is the Paten enveloped in the Veil when 
so Elevated? 

Because the Old Law forbade Levites to touch 
the sacred vessels or bear them about uncovered. 

The Chalice and Paten 367 

What is the material of the Paten? 

The same as that of the cup of the chalice, 
with exactly the same requirements as to gilding 
and consecration by the bishop. 

How does the Paten lose its Consecration? 

(a) When it is so broken that it becomes unlit 
for use, e. g. if the break be so large that the 
particles could fall through it. 

(6) When it is so battered that it would be un- 
becoming to use it. 

(c) When it is re-gilt. 



What is the Ciborium? 

The sacred vessel, chalice- 
shaped, only wider and shal- 
lower in the cup, in which 
the smaller Hosts are re- 
served and placed in the 
Tabernacle for the sick and 
the ordinary communicants. 

Hoiv is its name derived? 

From the Latin cibus (food ) 
and therefore signifying a 
receptacle for food — the food 
of Angels. 

Was the name otherwise 

The canopy over the High 
Altar was also called a ciborium, and before the 
introduction of the Tabernacle a chain was sus- 
pended from its ceiling to which was attached a 
gold or silver hollow dove or other receptacle 
for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. 

What is the Material of the Ciborium? 


Ciborium, Pyx, Ostensorium, Etc. 369 

The Roman ritual merely prescribed that it be 
"both solid and becoming." Copper even may 
enter into its composition. If made of any 
material other than gold the inside of its cup 
must be gilt. It cannot be made of wood, glass or 

What are the Accompaniments of a Cibor- 

A cover, tight-fitting and surmounted by a 
cross, and a veil of precious texture, embroidered 
in gold and silver, and white in color. 

When is this Veil used? 

It envelopes the Cib- 
orium only when the 
Blessed Sacrament is 
actually reserved in it. 
At all other times its 
use is improper. Hence 
after purification at 
Mass, or when filled 
with new particles and 
placed on the altar, it 
must be without its veil. 
Even from the Consecra- 
tion to the Communion 
it remains uncovered. 
It is placed over it just before depositing it in the 
Tabernacle after Communion. 



The Mass and Vestments 

In places where the holy Communion is carried 
solemnly to the sick a smaller ciborium of the 
same style is used. 

Whilst actually containing the Sacred Host, the 
ciborium must be kept in the Tabernacle under 
lock and key, and only removed to give Commun- 
ion, or to purify and replenish, or renew at fixed 


Is a Ciborium Consecrated? 

It is not consecrated, but only blessed by the 
bishop or priest having the requisite faculties 
according to the formula for the blessing of a 
Tabernacle. It may lose its blessing like the 

What is the Pyx? 

A small box, in shape and size 
like a watch-case, in which the 
Blessed Sacrament is carried to 
the sick. When so employed, it 
is enclosed in a silken purse, to 
which a cord is attached to throw 
about the neck. 


How is the name derived? 
From the Greek and Latin pyxis (box), the 
name also given to a compass-box. 

What is its material? 

Ciborium, Pyx, Ostensorium, Etc. 371 

It may be of the same material as the ciborium, 
gilt in its interior, with a slight elevation in the 

Must it be Blessed? 

It is to be blessed with the formula for the 
blessing of a Tabernacle. It may forfeit its bless- 
ing in the same manner as the chalice and 

What is the Osten- 

It is the large sacred 
vessel in which the Blessed 
Sacrament is exposed at 
Benediction and borne in 
solemn procession on cer- 
tain occasions. It has a 
stem akin to a chalice, and 
in its centre an aperture 
in which the Lunula with 
the Blessed Sacrament is 

By what other names 
is it known? 

It is also known as the Portable Tabernacle, 
Ciborium, Melchisedech, in Belgium, Monstrance 
and improperly Remonstrance. 

How is the name derived? 

From the Latin monstro (to show, exhibit). 



The Mass and Vestments 

What is its origin? 

It originated with the institution of the feast 
of Corpus Christi, (Pope Urban IV, 1264). 

What is the shape of the Ostensorium? 

The conventional form, in many varieties, is 
that of a disc with encompassing sunbeams, set 
upon a pedestal with surmounting cross, which is 
of obligation, and the hollow centre for the 
Lunula. In the beginning, the Monstrance was 
fashioned after the little towers which were the 
Tabernacles of the primitive church. 

In some of the churches of the Cistercian Order 
in France, the Ostensorium takes the form of a 
small statue of the Blessed Virgin so constructed 
that the Sacred Host may be placed in its hand 
during Exposition. 

What is the Lu- 
nula or Lunette? 

It is the small 
glass and metal en- 
closure, circular in 
form, to carry and 
present the Sacred 
Host erect in the 
central opening of 
the Ostensorium. 


WJiat is the derivative of its name? 
From the Latin luna (moon). 

Ciborium, Pyx, Ostensorium, Etc. 373 

Relative to its Structure, what has the 
Church determined? 

February 4, 1871, the following query was sent 
to the Sacred Congregation of Rites: "In expos- 
ing the Blessed Sacrament in the ostensorium is 
it permissible to use a lunette enclosed with circu 
lar glass sides, front and back, held in place by a 
silver circular band gilded on the inside, so that 
the Host is in actual contact with the double glass 
surface." By a decree in response to that query 
and a subsequent one of September 4, 1880, the 
Sacred Congregation replied that it is not becom- 
ing to so enclose the Host. Notwithstanding this 
prohibition the irregular lunette is still very 
generally manufactured and used. The legitimate 
lunette demands a metal back, gilt on the inside. 

What is the Custodia? 

It is a round, shallow vessel with close-fitting 
cover in which the 
lunette reposes whilst 
carrying the Sacred 
Host. It is required 
only when, without it, 
the Sacred Host would 
lie uncovered in the 
tabernacle. Some- 
times ostensoria are 
constructed on such a 
large, weighty plan that the upper part is movable 
and readily separated from the cumbersome 


374 The Mass and Vestments 

pedestal. When this large and rare lunette con- 
taining the Host is placed in the Tabernacle, the 
Custodia may be dispensed with. 

How is the name derived? 
From the Latin custos and custodia (a guard 
and guardianship). 

What is the material of the Ostensorium, 
Lunula and Custodia? 

The material is not prescribed. Since, however, 
they are destined for a function akin to the 
Ciborium their material should be both "solid and 

The Sacred Congregation permits the Osten- 
sorium and Lunette to be made of copper (cuprum). 

All these sacred vessels may be blessed jointly 
or singly by the formula for the blessing of a 



In the Ancient Church how was the Blessed 
Sacrament reserved? 

The usual repository was a golden dove sus- 
pended from the canopy of the altar. This 
custom explains the title, "Domus Columbae" 
(House of the dove) applied to the Church by the 
early Fathers. Verona and the British Isles used 
ivory receptacles of costly workmanship. A small 
tower was also in vogue, and in Rome as recent 
as 1370, in the pontificate of Gregory XI, little 
baskets of delicate wicker-work in allusion to the 
miraculous multiplication of the loaves by our 
Divine Lord served as tabernacles. In the early 
medieval period a light, kept burning night and 
day, before the tabernacle was of obligation. 

How is the Blessed Sacrament reserved now? 

In a ciborium placed in a tabernacle and covered 
with a silken veil. Here it is kept for the Com- 
munion of the people at Mass and to go on its 
errand as the Holy Viaticum for the dying. A 
sanctuary lamp fed with pure olive oil furnishes 
the required undying light in honor of the Blessed 
Sacrament, and to warn the people that the Real 
Presence is in the tabernacle. Of so weighty an 
obligation is this of a steadily burning light, that 

376 The Mass and Vestments 

St. Alphonsus does not excuse from a mortal sin 
the caretaker of a lamp who knowingly allows it 
to remain quenched one whole day, or two nights 
in succession. 

What has the Church decreed regarding 
the Sanctuary Lamp? 

(a) It must be, not behind or upon the altar, 
but before it, or at its side. ( Decree of August 
22, 1699) . On the table of the altar and adjacent 
to it only wax candles may be burned. ( Decree of 
May 31, 1831) . 

(6) The lamp may be suspended from a bracket 
on the side, or by a chain in front of the altar. 

(c) Colored or diaphanous lamps in green, red 
or anv other shade are permitted. (Decree of 
June 2, 1883). 

(d) It may be covered with a shade. (Decree 
of September 16, 1865). 

(e) The Ceremonial of bishops requires many 
lamps to burn before the Blessed Sacrament, which 
refers to some solemn feast or is only advisory 
and not mandatory. 

What quality of Oil is to be used in the 
Sanctuary Lamp? 

Although the Roman ritual does not prescribe 
the kind of oil, a continuous custom and the decrees 
of the Sacred Congregation enjoin that gener- 
ally and ordinarily olive oil alone may be used. 
These qualifying adverbs are employed because it 

Reservation of the Sacred Host 377 

is given to the discretion of a bishop in his diocese, 
on account of the poverty of a church to allow 
other oils, with a preference for vegetable oils. 
(Decree of July 9, 1864). 

When it was subsequently asked whether this 
decree allowed the use of kerosene for lighting 
altar and church, ignoring the question of poverty 
and Episcopal consent, the Sacred Congregation 
replied (March 20, 1869): "Neither kerosene 
nor any other kind of vegetable oil can be used, 
except as necessity and the prudence of the 
bishop justify it." 

How is the Blessed Sacrament reserved 
among the Orientals? 

The Greek Church uses a little satchel placed in 
what is called the Artophorion (bread-bearing) 
with a constantly burning light before it. Unless 
in very extreme illness the sick must be conveyed 
to the church for Communion. 

The Abyssinians keep the Sacred Host in the 
Tabou or Ark. 

The schismatic Copts never reserve the Blessed 
Eucharist. They argue that the chosen people 
instead of reserving any portion of the Paschal 
lamb from day to day were obliged to consume it 
entire at one meal. They also fear the fanaticism 
of the Mahometans. If a Coptic priest is sum- 
moned to the dying, he will say Mass at any hour of 
day or night, not fasting, to provide the Viaticum. 



What is the Corporal? 

A square piece of linen of the varying dimen- 
sions of a kerchief, to be placed in the middle of 
the altar table to receive the chalice and paten, 
and if necessary, the ciborium, because on it the 
bread and wine are Consecrated and placed. 

What is its Significancy? 

It typifies the winding sheet in which the Body 
of Christ was prepared for the tomb, as the 
chalice the sepulchre, and the paten the stone 
rolled against its door. 

What is its Derivation'? 

From the Latin corpus (a body). 

What are the Characteristics of the Corporal? 

It must be made of flax or hemp, unembroidered, 
with lace on edges if so desired, and a cross 
worked into it about an inch from front edge. 
No cross is allowed in its centre. As cross and 
lace are unnecessary and may be a hindrance 
when collecting the fragments, they had better be 
omitted. It must be clean and whole. It is for- 
bidden to use a torn or ripped corporal. When 

Corporal, Pall and Purificator 379 

washed, bleached, mended and ironed it is folded 
into three equal parts in length and width. It is 
better to prepare it without starch. Only those 
permitted to touch the chalice may handle a 
corporal used in the Mass. 

Must the Corporal be Blessed? 

It must, either by a bishop or priest having the 
adequate faculty, before it is used. If it is em- 
ployed in the Mass by mistake or otherwise before 
its blessing it must not be considered blessed. It is 
not blessed again after it is washed. It has its 
own special formula for blessing. It forfeits its 
blessing when no part of it is sufficiently large for 
the Host and chalice together. To celebrate Mass 
without a corporal would involve a grievous sin, 
unless excused by an unusual necessity, like the 
providing of Mass for the people on a Holyday of 
obligation and the Viaticum for the dying. 

What of its Ancient Use and Form 1 ? 

It was an altar linen — a fourth altar cloth — in 
the early Church, when it was extensive enough 
to cover the entire table of the altar, and required 
the presence of two deacons to fold it after the 

When is it placed on the Altar"? 

In a low Mass and a chanted Mass, at the begin- 
ning. In a solemn high Mass the ancient discipline 
of spreading it before the Offertory is followed. 


The Mass and Vestments 


What is it called by the Greeks? 

Eileton — (something rolled up), in allusion to 
the winding sheet in which the body of Christ was 
enshrouded for the tomb. 

What is the Pall? 

A small square of linen 
or hemp to cover the 

Hoiv is it made? 

Usually with two pieces 
of linen, between which 
card board is inserted for 
the sake of stiffening it. 
The upper side may be ornamented with em- 
broidery or painting in various colors, or covered 
with cloth of gold, silver or silk of any color, 
except black. Death emblems are also proscribed. 
The lower side must be of plain linen or hemp. It 
must be kept scrupulously clean. The Roman 
pall is usually small — only large enough to cover 
the chalice. The palls in use here are large 
enough to cover the paten. 

Is there not some Ambiguity regarding the 
Ornamentation of the Pall? 

The question was asked if a pall with a silk 
cloth upper side could be used, and the Sacred 
Congregation replied in the negative. (Decree of 
January 22, 1701 ). The same query was sent to 

Corporal, Pall and Purificator 381 

the Congregation in recent years and answered in 
the affirmative. (Decree of January 10, 1852, 
and July 17, 1894). 

Is the Pall oj Ancient use? 

It is in use only since the eleventh century. 

What was its Archetype? 

The large corporal which covered the entire altar 
and which was wide enough to be drawn over the 
Host and chalice, a form of pall now only the 
privilege of the Carthusians. 

Is its Blessing Mandatory? 
It must be blessed by the formula for the bless- 
ing of corporals to which it is kindred. 

What ivas (/ranted by Paul IV to the Thea- 
tines relative to the Pall? 

He permitted the use of a double pall — one for 
the chalice and another for the Host, which has 
divided theologians on the question whether the 
same custom might not be extended to other 
churches, without Apostolic permission. 

What is the Purificator? 

A piece of pure white linen or hemp, from six- 
teen to twenty inches, long and from nine to ten 
inches wide, the purpose of which is to wipe the 
chalice and the lips and fingers of the celebrant. 
A small cross mav be worked in it at its centre to 

382 The Mass and Vestments 

distinguish it from the little finger towel used at 
the Lavabo, which is not of obligation, although 
St. Charles Borromeo so ordered by statute. 

By what other name is it known? 
It is also called a Mundatory. 

Is it of ancient usage? 

It is of comparatively modern introduction. 
When it became a chalice linen is uncertain. As 
matter of record, we know that no mention is 
made of it prior to the thirteenth century. 

Is it Blessed? 

It is not blessed. ( Decree of September 7, 1816). 

What discipline regulates its use? 

Each priest must have his own purificator, and 
it should be changed once a week or even oftener 
if it becomes soiled or stained. When laid aside 
for washing it should be placed only with soiled 
chalice linens. 

Who is allowed to touch these Chalice Linens? 

After their use in the Mass only priests, 
deacons and sub-deacons are allowed to touch 
them. They alone are allowed to give them 
their first washing. To the inquiry whether 
Nuns could, with the permission of the bishop, 
be substituted for those in Sacred Orders in 
the performance of this duty, the Congregation 

Corporal, Pall and Purificator 383 

replied in the negative. (Decree of September 
12, 1857). Before use, however, and after wash- 
ing, there is no restraint in the matter of hand- 
ling them. 

Do the Greeks use a Purificator? 

The Greeks discard the purificator, and instead 
use a sponge, because one of the instruments of 
the bloody sacrifice of the Cross. 



What is the Burse? 

The Burse or purse is a 
receptacle for the corporal 
and pall when not in use in 
the Mass. It should be 
of the same material and 
color as the accompanying 


What is the Veil? 

The veil is the small square which covers the 
chalice. In color and material it should conform 
to the vestments. 

What is the Fin- 
ger Towel? 

The small linen 
towel with which the 
celebrant dries his fin- 
gers at the Lavabo. 




Cruets, a diminu- 
tive from old French 
"cruye" (pitcher) and 


Burse, Veil, Etc. 385 

Dutch Krink (cup) are the small vessels con- 
taining the wine and water and requisite for the 
Holy Sacrifice. They have been made of precious 
material, opaque, but their special utility and to 
avoid serious blunders would recommend a trans- 
parent material like glass. 

Why is the small Bell Rung in the Mass? 

It is rung at special parts of the Mass — the 
beginning of the Canon, Elevation and Commun- 
ion — to give the people warning and awaken their 


What do the Rubrics demand for this pur- 
Only a small bell. 

What are the appointed times for its ringing? 
Only twice — at the Sanctus and Elevation. 

Is it wrong to ring it oftener? 

The Sacred Congregation of Rites (Decree of 
May 14, 1856) decided that a more frequent 
sounding of the bell may be tolerated. 

Why are bells silent in Holy Week? 

Bells are stilled from the "Gloria" in the Mass 
of Holy Thursday until the "Gloria" on Holy 
Saturday according to Benedict XIV, because 
bells typify the preachers of the word of God and 
all preaching was silenced during the trial and 
passion of Our Lord. 

386 The Mass and Vestments 

Is the use of the gong legitimate? 

The archbishop of Mexico asked whether an 
Oriental symbol "adrnodum catini semi-pen- 
dentis ab hasta lignea" (like a dish hanging on 
a wooden staff) and struck by an acolyte could be 
used as a substitute for a bell. The reply was a 
negative. (Decree of September 10, 1898). 
Vander Stappen applies this prohibition to the 
gong because of the similarity of construction and 
manner of sounding. As, however, there has 
been no specific proscription of it and it is in very 
general use, any opinion of its impropriety is as 
yet premature and unwarranted. 

What is the Osculatory? 

The instrument whereby the Kiss of Peace is 
given — from osculum (Kiss). In the beginning, 
assemblages of Christians were divided like the 
synagogue by the sex line. There was no 
promiscuous gathering as now. Even then it was 
the custom in solemn services for the sub-deacon 
to convey the Kiss of Peace to men and women 
alike to be imparted afterward by man to man and 
woman to woman. This practice continued until 
the thirteenth century, when a new form of 
salutation was introduced by the Osculatory, 
which was a metal figure of Christ or a Pieta on 
a metal ground with a handle at the back. The 
celebrant kissed the Osculatorium which was 
kissed in turn by the attendants and faithful. 

Burse, Veil, Etc. 387 

The whole ceremony of the Pax is merely a sug- 
gestion of that brotherly love and charity which 
ought to bind Christians. As in primitive times 
it was reserved for those approaching Communion, 
and Communion was not given at requiem 
Masses, the Pax is excluded from Masses of 
requiem even now when the custom of giving 
Communion prevails. The Osculatory is rarely 
seen at present. 

What is the Thurible? 

Thurible or Censer is the vessel in which incense 
is burned at solemn High Mass, Ves- 
pers, Benediction and in the services 
for the dead. In many ancient 
churches Thuribles were suspended 
from the roof and allowed to burn 
incense throughout the service. At 
Santiago, Spain, a colossal silver censer 
is tied by a long rope to a ring at the 
intersection of nave and transept and 
smoked by swinging, whilst on special 
feasts a procession moves through the 

What is the Symbolism of Incense? 

When offered to a person it expresses homage 
and respect. The Magi gave a gift of incense to 
the Divine Infant. Our dead are blessed with in- 
cense because the Sacraments they have received 
have made them temples of the Holy Ghost. 

388 The Mass and Vestments 

When employed by the Church it signifies:- 

(a) The fire of holy charity that should con- 
sume us. 

(b) The good odor of Christ that is diffused in 
our hearts. 

(c) The practice of prayer, "Let my prayer, 
Lord be directed like incense in thy sight." 



What is the Rule determined by the Rubrics 
regarding the Crucifix? 

The Ceremonial of bishops prescribes that it 
must be a crucifix and not a cross, placed between 
the candlesticks on the altar and of the same 
metal as the candelabra. This latter regulation 
of material is not to be rigorously interpreted, and 
any other material, even wood is legitimate. 

What is the Nature of this Mandate requir- 
ing a Crucifix? 

It is preceptive and of obligation. Therefore, 
it is not lawful to say Mass without a crucifix. 

Are there any exceptions to this rule? 

The crucifix may be omitted if: 

(a) The Altar has in the place of the crucifix 
a statue of the Crucified, or a painting of the 
same which is prominent and distinct, and not 
merely subsidiary and an inconspicuous accessory 
to another subject, as for instance a representa- 
tion of St. Francis of Assisi, or any other saint. 
Neither is a picture or statue of the Sacred 
Heart, or the Infant Jesus, or the Redeemer 
manifesting His sacred wounds an adequate sub- 
stitution for the crucifix. 

390 The Mass and Vestments 

( b ) When Mass is celebrated on an altar where 
the most Blessed Sacrament is exposed, each 
church and diocese may follow its own custom 
and retain the crucifix if the use is such, or dis- 
card it according to an opposite custom. The 
instruction of the Congregation of Rites merely 
enjoins adherence to the prevailing practice. 

What is the Rule with reference to the Size 
and Prominence of the Crucifix? 

It must be large enough to be conspicuous and 
visible to the priest and the faithful assisting at 

It must be so elevated that it will appear above 
the head of the celebrant, and facilitate the 
observance of the rubric which obliges him to lift 
his eyes to the Crucified in divers parts of the 

This regulation inhibits the use of a diminutive 

Where must the Crucifix be Placed' 

When the rubric appoints the altar table, mid- 
way between the candlesticks as its proper place, 
it has in contemplation the altars of the Roman 
Basilicas, table-shaped, devoid of the Tabernacle, 
and so located that the celebrant faces the people. 
It also applies to an altar without a Tabernacle, 
where Mass is said in the usual way, but which 
has a step running across its entire length on 
which the candelabra are placed and between 

The Crucifix 391 

them the crucifix. Another construction was 
that of an altar with a Tabernacle of limited size 
placed on the altar and table. The position of the 
crucifix then is behind the Tabernacle and high 
enough to overtop it. 

Since the seventeenth century, the spacious, 
elaborate, called the renaissance Tabernacles have 
come into vogue occupying the primitive place of 
the crucifix. These Tabernacles have an open 
space above them, covered by a canopy of Roman 
or Gothic fashion, in which the Ostensorium is 
placed for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 
and is therefore called a throne. The crucifix 
should be placed at the summit of the canopy and 
not on the throne according to a decree of 
September 11, 1847. Gasparri (vol. II, p. 100) 
admits that the common practice is at variance 
with it, and says such a usage may be tolerated 
if it is the only available place for the Crucifix. 
A later decree, of June 2, 1883, instructs as a way 
of observing it literally, that the throne be mov- 
,able and, therefore, distinct from the Tabernacle 
over which the permanent canopy on stationary 
pillars is erected. 

What is the History of the Crucifix as a 
Religious Syrn bol ? 

The crucifix never appears in early christian 
art. The subject was not represented until the 
fifth century. The earliest reference in literature 
to a picture of the Crucifixion is in the middle of 

392 The Mass and Vestments 

the sixth century, and until the end of the same 
century there is no mention of a carved image of 
it, when St. Gregory of Tours refers to a crucifix 
in a church at Narbonne, which gave offense on 
account of its nakedness. In the Middle Ages it 
became a popular and all-prevailing representa- 
tion. It assumed four types: Altar Crucifix 
that stood at the altar, or at entrance to the choir; 
Road Crucifix at the crossroads or shrines; Sta- 
tion Crucifix at terminus of Way of the Cross, 
and Processional Crucifix, usually smaller and of 
metal, carried in procession. 

Strange to say, the earliest representation of a 
crucifix is that known as the "blasphemous cruci- 
fix." In excavations on the Palatine (Rome) it 
was found rudely and crudely scratched on the 
wall of the pages' quarters attached to one of the 
imperial palaces. A figure with the body of a 
man and the head of an ass is hanging on a cross. 
In front of it in an attitude of adoration is a 
slave, and the inscription in Greek uncials reads: 
"Alexamenos adores (his) God." 

The picture belongs to the end of the second 
century and explains two facts — the popular con- 
ception of Christianity by the average Roman, 
and the derision invited by the christians if they 
made a public use of the crucifix. 

What is the History of the Cross as a Relig- 
ious Symbol? 

In practice, the sign of the cross filled a large 

The Crucifix 


share of the mind and life of the early Church. In 
art, an undisguised representation of it in the first 
centuries is rarely found. De Rossi could point to 
only one instance before Constantine, and for a 
century later it shunned publicity. The reason 
was found in a desire to avoid furnishing fuel to 
Pagan bias, especially since the cross was then in 
common use, like the gallows for the punishment 
of felons. 

There are six types of crosses: Latin, when 
the transverse beam cuts the upright shaft near 
the top; Greek, when two equal beams cut each 
other in the middle; St. Andrew's, like the Greek 
cross; Egyptian or tau-shaped; Maltese, worn by 
the Knights of Malta, formed by four equilateral 
triangles whose apices meet in one point; Russian, 
having two transverse beams at the top and one 
near the foot, slightly inclined 
to favor a tradition that in the 
Crucifixion one foot was lifted 
a little higher than the other. 

A cross with two transoms at 
the top, one longer than the 
other, represented the board of 
the inscription and the cross-bar 
on which the head rested. The 
cross with three transoms called 
Papal is the fiction of painters. 
Indeed, so reliable an authority processional cross 
as Father Thurston, S. J., re- archiep.scopal 

394 The Mass and Vestments 

cords that these double and triple-barred crosses 
have for the most part only a heraldic existence. 
Crosses that represent the arms of the Lord as 
only partly extended are called Jansenistic, 
because Cornelius Jansens of Belgium taught the 
false doctrme that Christ died only for the good 
and not for all. 

Give summary of the approved uses of the 
Altar Crucifix? 

(1) A cross with figure (crucifix) must be 
placed at the middle of every altar, on which 
Mass is celebrated (Rubr. Gen. Miss. Tit. XX.) 
Except in cases of positive necessity Mass may not 
be celebrated without it. (DeHerdt, vol. I, n. 181, II). 

(2) Its proper place is between the candlesticks 
and in a straight line with them {Caer. Episc. 
Lib. I, cap. XII, n. 11). To obtain this position it 
may be placed upon the tabernacle unless a canopy 
is permanently erected over the tabernacle, which 
serves as a throne for the exposition of the Blessed 
Sacrament. (S. R. C. June 11, 1904). 

(3) It should be sufficiently high and large to 
be seen by the celebrant and the people (S. R. C. 
September 17, 1822) and its pedestal should be on 
a level with the top of the candlesticks. (Caer. 
Episc. Lib. I, cap. XII, n. 11). The small crucifix 
found sometimes on the summit of small wooden 
tabernacles or attached to the door of some taber- 
nacle cannot take the place of the altar cross. (S. 
R. C, June 16, 1663). 

The Crucifix 395 

( 4 ) The crucifix may be made of any substance, 
but it is fitting that it be of the same material as 
the candlesticks. (Caer. Episc. Lib. I, cap. XII, 
n. 11). 

(5) If the altar-piece contains a picture of 
Christ crucified, or if there is on the altar a large 
statuary group representing the Crucifixion, it is 
not necessary to place a crucifix on the altar (S. 
R. C. June 16, 1663). But in this case the cross 
with the image must be the central or principal sub- 
ject of the picture. A picture, for example, rep- 
resenting St. Francis Xavier, with a large crucifix 
in his hands, whilst preaching to the pagans, 
would not answer the purpose. 

(6) Although the size of the altar cross is not 
determined by a decree of the S. Congregation, 
yet the instructions given to the visitors of the 
churches in Rome decide that its perpendicular 
bar cannot be less than 16 inches and the horizon- 
tal bar less than 8 inches. {Acta S. Sedis, Vol. 
XXXVIII, p. 179). 

(7) If it be necessary to remove this large 
cross, another of smaller dimensions must be 
put in its place during Mass; the latter, however, 
must be large enough and be placed in such a 
position that it may be seen by the celebrant and 
the people. (S. R. C. September 17, 1822). 

(8) The regular altar cross cannot be covered 
with a cloth to protect it from dust, damp, etc., 

396 The Mass and Vestments 

and one of smaller dimensions used in its stead 
during Mass. (S. R. C. September 12, 1857). 

( 9 ) It cannot be placed on the throne or on the 
corporal on which the Blessed Sacrament is ex- 
posed, at least not on the exact spot on which the 
ostensorium is placed. (S. R. C. June 2, 1883). 
It may be placed on the throne a short distance 
in front of or behind the spot on which the osten- 
sorium usually stands during public Exposition. 

(10) The cross may be placed on the altar 
during Mass celebrated before the Blessed Sacra- 
ment exposed. It is, however, not of obligation, 
but the custom that prevails in each church is to 
be followed. (S. R. C. September 2, 1741). 

(11) It must be covered with a violet cloth 
from the first vespers of Passion Sunday to Good 
Friday, and cannot be uncovered during that 
period, however great the feast or solemnity 
may be that is being celebrated. {S.R. C. Novem- 
ber 16, 1649). 

(12) On Holy Thursday the cross on the altar, 
at which the Mass of the Presanctified (only) is 
celebrated, is covered with a white cloth (Memor- 
iale Rituum, Tit. I, cap. I, n. 2), and on Good 
Friday with a violet (not a black) cloth. (S. R. 
C. December 30, 1881). 

(13) At any function, all, except prelates, 
canons and the celebrant, make a simple genuflec- 
tion to the cross of the altar, even if the Blessed 

The Crucifix 397 

Sacrament is not reserved in the tabernacle of 
such altar. (S. R. C. August 30, 1892). But 
from the adoration of the cross on Good Friday to 
the hour of noon on Holy Saturday, all, even pre- 
lates, canons and the celebrant, must genuflect to 
the cross. (S. R. C. May 9, 1857; September 12, 

( 14) If the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and 
a cross, according to the custom of the place, is 
placed on the altar, the cross is not incensed dur- 
ing the incensation of the altar. (S. R. C. 
November 29, 1738). 

(15) The rubrics do not prescribe that the cross 
be specially blessed (S. R. C. July 12, 1704), 
although this may be done privately by any priest 
(Ibidem), who in this case uses the form of bless- 
ing pro Imaginibus, found in the Roman ritual 
(Tit. VIII, cap. 25), and not the one pro Nova 
Cruce, which is used only when blessing a cross 
to which the image of Christ is not attached. 



What is the Missal? 

The Mass book in which are contained the 
Masses to be said through the circle of the year. 

What is the Language of the Roman Missal? 
It is printed in Latin, in red and black letters. 

What is the Import of these Colors? 

The black letters constitute the text of the 
Missal, and the red its Rubrics or directions in 
performing the various actions of the Mass. 

How is the term "Rubric" derived? 

From the Latin rubrum (red). The ancient 
Romans used red chalk in writing the titles of 
books and statutes, and in process of time the 
name was given the inscriptions. 

Why are Ribbons and Page-Tips used? 

The five ribbons corresponding in color to the 
vestment shades are used as book-marks to locate 
the Mass and its various commemorations. The 
page-tips of leather, silk or linen are attached to 
the leaves of the Canon of the Mass to aid the 

The Missal and Missal Cards 399 

celebrant in turning them over. The reason of 
this is, between the Consecration and the finger 
ablutions after Communion, the priest's thumb and 
index finger, having touched the Sacred Host, 
cannot come in contact with aught else until puri- 
fied with wine and water. They cannot, there- 
fore, give any help in turning these tipped pages. 

When do the Masses of the Missal begin? 

With the first Sunday of Advent, which has no 
fixed date. According to present discipline, it is 
always the Sunday falling nearest to St. Andrew's 
day (November 30) whether before or after it. 
In the event of a feast falling on this Sunday it is 
transferred to another day and the Sunday is the 
first of Advent. 

Who is the Author of the First Missal? 

If the data are insufficient to sustain the opinion 
favoring the authorship of St. James, the Just, 
Apostle and first bishop of Jerusalem, all are 
agreed that the Liturgy which bears his name is 
the most ancient of all. 

Nigh to the Apostolic Age, what were the 
Mass Books? 

There were four: The Antiphonary, Evangel- 
ary, Lectionary and Sacramentary. For their 
contents vide p. 79. 

Describe the Inconvenience of these Four 

400 The Mass and Vestments 

In celebrating, particularly a low Mass, it was 
most inconvenient and harassing for the priest to 
be obliged to turn from one to the other of these 
four volumes to find the special prayer and lesson 
appropriate to the Mass. This led to the consoli- 
dation of the four into one book called a Plenary 

Was not the Single or Plenary Missal the 
Creation oj the Council of Trent? 

Although Plenary Missals were long in vogue 
before the Council of Trent (1545-1563) their 
origin is generally ascribed to it, because Trent 
corrected many errors and interpolations and 
remodelled and rearranged them. 

Did the Council oj Trent give Us a New 

By no means. Substantially, our modern Missal 
is identical with the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory 
the Great (790). 

What Popes First Issued the Missal? 

Pius IV began the task, and Pius V completed 
it in 1570, by producing a new Missal and pro- 
mulgating a decree enjoining its acceptance on all. 
This is the Mass-book we use now. Between 
1570 and 1574 seven editions were issued of 
which few copies are extant — one of the first 
edition, four of the second, one of the third, none 
of the fourth, fifth and sixth, and only one of the 
seventh edition exist now. 

The Missal and Missal Stand 401 

In addition to the Missal what else did Pius 
V make Obligatory? 

The psalm, "Judica me Deus," at the begin- 
ning of the Mass, when permitted by the rubrics, 
and the Gospel of St. John at the end. Before 
his time they were optional. 

What Missal Must be Used in the Celebra- 
tion of Mass? 

The Missal which is proper to the church or 
oratory where the Mass is offered. 

What is always the Standard or Norma oj 
such Missals? 

The Roman Missal issued by Pope Pius V. 

Are there then Varieties in Missals? 

The Mass-books of the Eastern Church are 
quite distinct from those of the Western Church, 
and even in the Roman Church there are many 

Explain how these Diversities are caused? 

(a) Special churches, nations, provinces and 
dioceses have their own local saints and patrons 
who are honored by a Mass. These saints are 
not found in the Calendar of the Universal Church 
and their place in the Missal is in a supplement to 
be honored only locally. The same applies to 
Feasts of obligation, for Holydays are not uniform 
throughout the whole Church. 

(b) The Religious Orders have their own saints 

402 The Mass and Vestments 

— associates who were carried to the heights of 
heroic virtue by observance of their respective 
rules. These are found in an appendix. 

(c ) One Religious Order, the Franciscan, enjoys 
the peculiar privilege of carrying their saints, not in 
an appendix, but in the body of the Roman Missal 
where they are close neighbors of the saints of 
the Universal Church. Hence their Missal is 
known as the Roman-Seraphic. 

(d) When the Pope in 1570 edited the Missal, 
he decreed that all other existing Missals in the 
Western Church must be retired, except those 
which had been in continuous use, at least, two 
hundred years prior to that date. This concession 
insures to the Dominicans and others not only a 
special Missal, but also a special rite and formula 
in the celebration of Mass. 

To whom was reserved the Right to Say 
these Special Masses? 

Only those to whom the privilege was given by 
Papal indult, whilst all others in these favored 
localities and monasteries had to conform to the 
ordinary Roman Missal. With the progressivelv 
increasing number of these local Masses, and the 
presence of many visiting priests, made possible 
by the desire and facilities of travel, this exclusive 
regulation created confusion and a temptation to 
transgress it. 

How was this Difficulty Obviated? 

The Missal and Missal Stand 403 

By a decree of July 9, 1895, the Sacred Congre- 
gation of Rites extended the privilege of saying 
the Mass proper to the place to all visiting Secu- 
lars and Regulars officiating in a church or public 
oratory, whether such Mass was found in the 
Roman Missal, or only in that of the Regulars, 
always, however, prescinding from such privilege 
the right to follow the specialized rite of these 

What else is to be Observed Regarding the 

(a) The ribbon markers should be arranged in 
their proper sequence. 

( b) It is becoming that it be gilt-edged. 

(c) The Ceremonial of Bishops and Liturgists 
refer to a silk covering for it corresponding in 
color with the vestments. This recommendation 
is, however, generally neglected because of the 
ornamental binding now in vogue. 

What is the Missal Stand? 

The support for the Missal on the altar. The 
rubrics of the Mis- 
sal prescribe a cush- 
ion of silk of the 
same color as the 
vestments instead 
of the conventional 
Missal stand, which, 
nevertheless, is its 
legitimate substi- 



The Mass and Vestments 

tute. This missal-stand is to be covered with a 
veil of the vestment color, unless it be gilded or 
carved wood. 

What other Liturgical Books are used in tlie 
Celebration of Mass? 

(a) An excerpt of the Roman Missal for the 
requiem Masses, and since 1895 the prayers for 
the various Absolutions. 

( b ) The book of Gospels and Epistles for the 
deacon and sub-deacon in solemn High Masses. 

(c) The Canon containing the Order and Canon 
of the Mass according to the Roman Missal for 
the convenience of bishops and prelates enjoy- 
ing the privilege of pontificating — for bishops at 
low and high Mass, and prelates only when 
solemnly officiating. 

What are Altar Cards? 



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The Missal and Missal Stand 405 

The rubrics of the Mass prescribe only one 
altar card called a Tabella and Charta-Glorise to 
be placed at the foot of the Crucifix, or at the 
middle of the altar- table, or before the Tabernacle, 
which contains the prayers to be recited silently, 
with exception of the Gloria and Credo. 

Later, the two lesser cards — one at the Epistle 
side of the altar for the prayers at the pouring of 
the wine and water into the chalice and the psalm 
Lavabo — the other at the Gospel side containing 
the Gospel of St. John were introduced. These 
cards are permitted on the altar only during the 
offering of Mass, and when a bishop officiates 
their place is usurped by the Episcopal Canon. 



Why are Lighted Candles used on the Altai''? 

The liturgical lights on an altar are never used 
merely to repel darkness, nor as a mere reminis- 
cence of the time when Mass was celebrated in the 
catacombs. Their use is determined by their 
symbolical significancy and tradition, or historical 

What are the Elements of this Symbolic 

(1) Because light represents Christ who is "the 
true light which enlighteneth every man coming 
into this world." 

(2 ) To show forth the reverence and splendor 
which inhere in the Sacred Mysteries. 

(3) To awaken faith, devotion and zeal for 
good works whereby we become exemplars of 
light to our neighbors. 

What is the Verdict oj Tradition regarding 
these Lights? 

In the Old Law it was the ordinance of God 
that fire should permanently burn on the altar 
and that the priest should feed it. This divine 

Candles 407 

command fixed the norma for the early Christians, 
and the use of lights on or about the altar is 
believed to be of Apostolic origin. 

What is the attitude of the Church regard- 
ing the Material of these Altar Candles? 

The legislation of the Church in this matter 
may seem to be of excessive stringency. By 
repeated decrees the quality and number of such 
candles have been fixed unalterably. The material 
must be wax. To reiterated petitions for the 
substitution of artificial material and vegetable 
fats, sperm, tallow, stearin, paraffine and a mix- 
ture of sperm or stearin with beeswax Rome 
has uniformly returned an emphatic negative, 
until the decree of December, 1904. Bleached 
wax candles are the proper material at ordinary 
services, and for the Office and Mass of the dead, 
Good Friday and Matins of Tenebrae custom has 
legitimized the unbleached wax candle. 

What is the Purport of the Decree of Decem- 
ber, 190^? 

It prescribes that the Paschal candle and the 
two candles lighted at Mass must be for the most 
part of pure beeswax, and that all other candles 
placed on the altar should contain this substance 
in more or less notable quantity. The bishops of 
Ireland have officially interpreted this decree as 
signifying that the Paschal candle and the two 
Mass candles should contain at least 65 per cent 

408 The Mass and Vestments 

beeswax and all the other candles at least 25 per 

To safeguard the peace of conscience and secure 
pious and troubled souls against scrupulosity the 
Sacred Congregation annexed this observation to 
its regulations: "In which matter parish priests 
and other rectors of churches and oratories can 
safely stand .by the standards fixed by their 
respective bishops, whilst others about to celebrate 
Mass need not inquire too anxiously about the 
quality of the candles." Primarily then it be- 
hooves the bishop to regulate the sort of candle 
to be used on the altar, and for those in charge of 
churches and public oratories to execute such 
regulation, while other priests having no responsi- 
bility need not trouble their conscience about the 
candles unless a very gross and palpable abuse 
come under their notice. 

Will Poverty, or the High Price oj Wax, or 
Custom Warrant another kind oj Candle? 


Has the Church permitted any Exceptions to 
the above Requirements? 

Exceptions were made for Oceania (decree of 
September 7, 1850) and the Polar regions (decree 
of February 6, 1858). 

What was the Reason of the Exceptions? 
The impossibility of procuring either beeswax 

Candles 409 

or olive oil in these countries. The exception 
ceases when either wax or oil is obtainable. 

Why does the Church insist on Beeswax? 

On account of its symbolical meaning. The 
pure beeswax of the candle burning on the altar 
is a figure of the untainted Humanity of Christ. 
It is the product of the bee which harvests the 
nectar and pollen from the flower. This particular 
bee which gathers the honey and secretes the wax 
is virginal and an appropriate figure of the Virgin 
Mother. Hence, the mystics regarded the wax as 
the Sacred Body of Our Lord; the wick encom- 
passed by the wax, His soul, and the flame, His 
Divinity, or the fire of Divine love. 

Is it ever Permissible to use Gas, or Electric- 
ity, or Oil, or Candles of another substance? 

For mere illumination, or display to enhance 
solemnity, these may be used, but never in the 
place to which the liturgic lights are entitled, and 
always subsidiary to these lights. 

A decree of November 22, 1907, decides: 

(1) That electric lights cannot be used on the 
altar, even when the prescribed wax candles are 
placed upon it. 

(2) That electric lights cannot be used instead 
of the candles or lamps which are prescribed to 
burn before the Blessed Sacrament, sacred relics 
and images or statues of the saints. 

410 The Mass and Vestments 

(3) That it is left to the prudent judgment of 
the Ordinary to decide concerning the use of 
electric lights in other places in the church. 

How many Candles mast be Lighted on the 
Altar at Mass? 

For a low Mass, a bishop may have four and a 
priest at least two, unless privileged by the Holy 
See to use more. An exception is made for low 
Masses at marriages, first Communions, funerals, 
the community Mass of Religious on Sundays and 
Holydays, and in churches where for reasons the 
last or parochial Mass is low. 

For a solemn Pontifical Mass when the bishop 
officiates in his own diocese, seven. This seventh 
candle is set up high behind the crucifix. It dis- 
appears, however, at requiems and Pontifical ves- 
pers. Its appositeness recalls the vision of St. John 
in the Apocalypse (Chap. I, vv. 12-13). "I saw 
seven golden candlesticks, one like unto the Son of 
Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot and 
girt about the paps with a golden girdle." Like 
another Christ should be the bishop in his diocese. 

In ordinary high Masses on Sundays and feasts 
of a higher rite, six lights must be used. On 
feasts of double and semi-double rite, during 
octaves, ferials of Advent, Lent, Ember days and 
vigils, four suffice. On other ferials and simples, 
two. In high Masses of requiem at least four 
candles are required. 

Candles 411 

At vespers the number is not prescribed. Litur- 
gists, however, appoint four or six for solemn 
vespers, and two for a simple service as a minimum. 

At Benediction the number is variable according 
to piety and the resources of the church. Twelve, 
ten and six lights are mentioned in the decrees 
applicable to poor churches. Less than six are 
never allowed. 

What other Lights are used? 

Torches by the attendants, the large Paschal 
candle from Holy Saturday to the Ascension, and 
the Bugia or hand candlestick and the Sanctuary 

What is to be said of the Candle lighted at 
the Elevation of the Host? 

The rubric notes that in a private Mass, before the 
Consecration, a special candle of a rope or twisted 
pattern, on the Epistle side, is to be lighted and 
not extinguished until after the priest's Commun- 
ion. Its purpose is to admonish the faithful of the 
Real Presence of Christ on the altar and to excite 
them to conscious adoration. The custom is still 
retained in few churches and its observance accord- 
ing to many theologians is not of obligation. 

What is the proper Oil for the Sanctuary 

Pure olive oil, partly because it was the most 
economical and abundant luminant in the cradle 

412 The Mass and Vestments 

and infancy of the Church, and partly for its sym- 
bolic suggestion. The olive branch is typical of 
peace since the days of Noah, and the oil pressed 
from its fruit may be regarded as a figure of 
Christ, the Prince of Peace. Owing to its expen- 
siveness and scarcity in the Western Church, the 
French bishops in 1864 petitioned that they 
might be permitted to use some other vegetable 
oil, not excluding even petroleum as a substitute 
for olive oil. The favor was granted under Epis- 
copal supervision. Colza, cotton-seed oil and oil of 
the poppy and flax plant are the vegetable pro- 
ducts most generally utilized. 

A decree of November 8, 1907, permits the use 
of a compound of olive oil and beeswax in the 
Sanctuary Lamp. 



What kind of Bread is Consecrated in the 

Bread made of wheaten flour and water, baked, 
not stewed, fried or boiled, and incorrupt. 

Is this Bread Leavened or Unleavened? 

Both are valid material in the Latin Church. 
The only licit material, however, according to the 
Latin rite is unleavened bread, wheat flour and 
water being the only ingredients. 

Was Leavened Bread ever used in the Latin 

Cardinal Bona proves that until the tenth cen- 
tury leavened or fermented bread was as commonly 
used as unleavened bread. In that century the 
unleavened or unfermented bread became obliga- 

Why does the Latin Church use Unleavened 

Because according to the Evangelists, SS. Mark 
and Luke, the Last Supper was held on the first day 
of the Azymes, that is, on the first of the seven 

414 The Mass and Vestments 

Paschal days when only azyme or unfermented 
bread was permittted, and, therefore, it is intelli- 
gible that Christ obeyed the law and Consecrated 
the unleavened bread. 

Does the Church then Declare the Quality of 
the Bread? 

The Church dogmatically does not define any 
quality of bread. Simple bread, independent of 
leavening and unleavening, is the burden of the 
Church's dogma. The quality is fixed by dis- 

Why did the Latin Church introduce Leaven- 
ed Bread? 

To confound the Ebionite heretics and establish 
the disenthrallment of the Christian Church from 
the Synagogue. The Ebionites taught that the 
New was subservient to the Old Law and, 
therefore, the Eucharist invalid unless unleavened 
bread was the material used. 

What is the Usage among Orientals? 

The Armenians and Maronites use unfermented, 
and the Greeks, Melchites, Chaldeans, Syrians and 
Copts fermented bread. 

What is the Verdict of Rome? 

Rome says: "Let each Church observe its own 

Bread and Wine 


How are Altar 
Breads made? 

They are baked 
between heated 
irons upon which is 
stamped some pious 
device, such as the 
Crucifixion, Lamb 
of God, or a simple 

What is the form of these Altar Breads? 
They are circular in form and very thin. 

What is their size? 

Until the eleventh century there was a very 
general custom of communicating the people with 



particles broken from the large Host or loaf 
which the priest Consecrated. As a consequence, 
it must have been of much larger proportions 

416 The Mass and Vestments 

than now. At present the celebrant's Host is 
smaller, although larger than the Hosts still desig- 
nated "particles" which the people receive. 

What sort of Wine is Valid Jor the Altar? 

The juice of the matured grape, ripened still 
more by fermentation, and which has not become 
corrupted and undrinkable. This corresponds 
with the genimen vitis (the fruit of the vine) of 
Our Lord. ( Matt. XXVI, 29) . 

What is Invalid? 

Any liquid that is the product of other fruits 
or grains, like cider, beer or whiskey. The same 
is true of wine pressed from unripe grapes and 
wine converted into vinegar. Should the wine 
become so putrid as to be undrinkable it would 
be invalid. If the unripeness is slight and the 
acidity trivial it may be corrected by the addition 
of a small amount of sugar. 

What is Illicit? 

Wine in the primary stage of corruption when 
the sour, bitter taste and the musty scum are 
evident; also "must," the unfermented juice of 
the grape is lawful only in a serious emergency, 
because before the chemical change it contains 
dregs unfit for Consecration. 

What is Licit Wine? 

Wine that is genuine and natural, the fermented 
produce of the grape juice without the addition 

Bread and Wine 417 

of any substance that could be regarded by the 
standard of the Church as deleterious to its native 
qualities and limited in its alcoholic constituent. 

Is Wine from Dried Grapes or Raisins 

These raisins are steeped in water which they 
absorb. Then they are crushed in the wine 

The Holy Office cleverly answers, "Yes, if in 
color, taste and smell it is true wine." 

What of the absence of fermentation and the 
absorption of so much water? 

Theologians concur that it is lawful material if 
it be the result of fermentation, and the water 
absorbed does not exceed the quantity lost by 
evaporation. This raisin wine must therefore con- 
tain the element of wine so predominantly that 
the admixture of water shall be comparatively 
small and shall not affect the fluid as true wine. 

What is the average Alcoholic strength of 


About twelve per cent. The amount depends 
on the richness of the grape and the sugar in the 
must. Sometimes there is an arrested fermenta- 
tion, and again the abundance of sugar in the 
must is not all transformed into its equivalent of 
alcohol. This residuum of sugar in most wines, 
under favorable conditions, sets up a secondary 

418 The Mass and Vestments 

fermentation when transferred to wood or glass, 
making them muddy and even corrupt. This is 
very often the condition of wines exported by 

How is this danger averted? 

(a) By the addition of alcohol. 

(b) By an increase in the temperature of the 

Which has received the Approval of the 


State the jacts relevant to this decision? 

In 1887 the bishop of Marseilles asked the Holy 
Office which of these two preservatives was to be 
preferred. The Congregation replied that the 
second was to be recommended. Later, the same 
prelate asked, if: 

(1) Alcohol could be used to strengthen weak 

(2) If so, how much and in what quantity and 

The reply was that alcohol might be used, pro- 
vided it was the pure extract of the grape; that the 
additional alcohol with what the wine normally 
contained should not exceed twelve per cent and 
that the infusion must be made while the wine 
was fresh. 

Bread and Wine 419 

In 1891 the archbishop of Tarragona inquired if 
the custom of adding ten per cent of alcohol to 
the rich wines of his country might be followed, 
and if the wines so fortified might be used in the 
Mass. The reply came in an unqualified negative 
so far as the Mass is concerned. 

Again, the archbishop complained to Rome that 
the twelve per cent permitted, in response to the 
bishop of Marseilles, was not sufficient to protect 
the rich Tarragonian wines against vitiation when 
exported, and as eighteen per cent was the mini- 
mum preservative he petitioned that his wine 
merchants might be allowed to fortify up to that 
measure. The answer was favorable, but the 
standard mentioned in the petition must not be 
exceeded; the spirits used must be pure grape 
extract, and the mixture made at the turning point 
of the fermentation when it begins to defervesce. 
As a rule for practice, it is conceded that the extra 
percentage is allowable in all cases similar to that 
of Tarragona, but that the twelve per cent is not 
to be exceeded except in like necessity. 

What is the Benefit of a High Temperature 
for Wine? 

When raised to a very high temperature the 
germs of trouble after fermentation are disarmed 
or eliminated. It is said to be the method of 
Pasteur and the best preservative. To a further 
query, whether the must could be similarly treated 

420 The Mass and Vestments 

the answer was an approval so long as the boiling 
is not a bar to fermentation, arising in the natural 
way. Other methods of preservation, like the 
introduction of acids, etc, that injure or prejudice 
the natural quality of the wine are illegitimate. 

What is the Nature of the Obligation to mix 
the Wine with Water in the Mass? 

It is of grave obligation that a little water, 
never more than the third part of the wine under 
any circumstances should be poured into the 
chalice for Consecration. The Church never dis- 
penses in this rubric which is said to be a vestige 
of Apostolic times. There are also motives of 
symbolism, like the duality of Christ's nature and 
the issuance of blood and water from the side of 
the dying Saviour commending the practice. 

Theologians discuss the fate of these drops of 
water in the miracle of Consecration. That they 
are transmuted into the Precious Blood is now 
the accepted opinion, whether immediately or 
mediately is a point of contention in the schools. 



What is the meaning of Statio {Station) as 
found in the Roman Missal and the Liturgy? 

This term is a curious relic of the past. For 
example, on Septuagesima Sunday the "Statio" is 
at St. Lawrence's church outside the walls; Sexa- 
gesima, St. Paul's; Quinquagesima, St. Peter's, and 
so on through the Lent, every day having its own 

It signifies: 

(a) A fast appointed by the Church for fixed 
days, like that of Wednesdays and Fridays, Ember 
times and Lent. 

(b) A military post or encampment, and hence 
St. Ambrose: "Our stationes (encampments) are 
our fasts which defend us against the devil's 
attacks. They are called stationes because 
stantes (standing) we repel our enemy." 

(c) Certain days whereon the faithful met by 
appointment for worship at previously desig- 
nated places. This was imperative in the age of 
persecution, and the place of their assemblage 
was near the tomb of some martyr in the 
catacombs. The service was simple and brief. 
In the era of peace the Church continued the 

422 The Mass and Vestments 

custom of a more solemn service at stated places 
on Wednesdays and Fridays, vigils, anniversaries 
of martyrs and during the forty days of Lent. 
Later, the great festivals and the whole interval 
between Easter and Pentecost were added. 

Pope Gregory the Great (590) established and 
regulated all the details of these Stations, reduc- 
ing them to a fixed number, appointed the cere- 
monies to be observed, the days and churches in 
which they were to be held, the places of assemblage 
for people and clergy and from which they 
walked processionally to the Stations or desig- 
nated churches, the indulgences procurable by all 
participants, and ordered such stations to be noted 
at the beginning of the Masses in the Roman 

The solemn processions ceased in the fourteenth 
century during the residence of the Popes at 
Avignon, and now the visits are made without 
ceremony. Formerly, only one church was assign- 
ed to any particular day, but now there are two 
and three on some days although only one is 
scheduled in the Missal. There are in all one 
hundred and one stationary churches in Rome 
for eighty-four days. A visit to one of these 
churches suffices to gain the rich indulgences. 

(d) A church or oratory at which a procession 
halts, and hence processions are sometimes called 

Stations 423 

(e) The pictures of the Passion erected in 
churches before which the people pray and medi- 

(/) The churches wherein special courses of 
sermons are given by appointed preachers, as for 
example in Advent and Lent. 



In the Study of Church Vestments how many 
Methods are there? 

Two: The ritualistic and the antiquarian. 

What is the Ritualistic Method? 

It is that process which maintains and seeks to 
prove that the vestments of the Christian Church 
are modeled directly upon the vestments of the 
Jewish priesthood. As Moses, by the command 
of God, formulated minute instructions for the 
shape and usage of these, so they claim an in- 
direct divine appointment for the Christian vest- 

What is the Antiquarian Method? 

The process of gaining knowledge of the vest- 
ments of the Church by a study of archaeology 
and a patient comparison of the works of authors 
and artists of successive periods. The pictorial 
representations of the catacombs, mosaics of the 
earlier churches and the mortuary figures of 
ecclesiastics on ancient tombs furnish the chief 
material for this study. 

Sacred Vestments in General 425 

What is the Decision of the Antiquarian 

The experts in this school are unanimous in 
holding that the vestments of the Christian 
Church were evolved by a natural process from 
the ordinary costume of a Roman citizen of the 
first or second century of our era. Dr. Rock in 
his Hierurgia (vol. II, p. 201) quoting Bona and 
Thomassius, emphasizes this distinction: The gar- 
ments once worn in the celebration of the Sacred 
Mysteries were afterwards exclusively used for the 
same holy purpose. It was considered indecorous, if 
not a profanation, to alienate them from the service 
of the altar and to wear them when otherwise en- 
gaged. Fashion then had its caprices and way- 
wardness, although unlike the present in the 
suddenness and capriciousness of its changes. The 
Sanctuary was, however, kept intact from these 
innovations and the ecclesiastical dress kept its 
original form, while the costumes of civil society 
underwent a gradual transformation. In process 
of time those garments which once were uni- 
versally worn by the people of condition became 
peculiar to the servants of the altar. This began 
to be discernible about the close of the sixth 

As between these two schools where lies the 
Probable Truth? 
Neither is absolutely correct. Whilst the balance 

426 The Mass and Vestments 

of probability is enormously in favor of the Anti- 
quarian theory, it does not cover certain changes 
which were made in the textures, outlines and 
numbers of the vestments while the Church was 
comparatively in her infancy. Before Constantine's 
conversion vestments were ordinarily of the less 
expensive materials, and decorated merely with 
scarlet stripes, called lotus clavus (broad stripe) 
after the manner of the bands of purple on the 
ankle tunics of Roman senators. Subsequently, 
the vesture remained the same in form, but was 
manufactured of the richest stuffs. Later along, 
changes were introduced to assimilate, as far as 
possible, the Jewish and Christian ceremonial dress. 
Thus it may be affirmed both views contain an 
element of truth. 

Which is the older of the two Systems of the 
Origin of Church Vestments? 

The theory of a Levitical origin is the older of 
the two. Not only was it the first, but for many 
years it was the only solution proposed. Very 
few now hold it absolutely. The weight of 
argument is against it, and it has been abandoned 
as untenable. 

Who first Taught the Mosaic Origin of 
Christian Vestments? 

Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mayence, in his 
treatise, "De Institutione Clericorum," written 
about the year 850. 

Sacred Vestments in General 427 

Who first held the Opposite View? 

Walafridus Strabo, a Benedictine monk, pupil 
and contemporary of Rabanus Maurus, in his 
work, "De Exordiis et Incrementis Rerum 

What was Strabo' s Opinion? 
That Christian priests in the early centuries 
officiated in the common dress of daily life. 

What Reply is to be made to the Statement 
that some early Fathers contradict Strabo? 

Passages from St. Jerome, the Liturgy of St. 
Clement and the charge against Cyril, Bishop of 
Jerusalem, have been carefully examined by 
Marriott in his "Vestiarium Christianum" and de- 
clared inconclusive. There is no reference, what- 
ever, in these extracts to a vestment of any pre- 
scribed shape, and their color is only specified by 
such indefinite words as lautros (bright) and 
Candida (white). 

When did the development of Vestments as 
to Material and Shape begin? 

About the end of the fourth century, when the 
Emperor Theodosius dying (395) the Roman 
world was divided between his two sons, Arcadius 
and Honorius. 

How may this Period be divided? 

Into primitive and transitional The primi- 

428 The Mass and Vestments 

tive period approximates four centuries, during 
which epoch, clergy and people wore the same 
style of vesture both in church and out, subject 
only to the accidental distinctions of quality and 
cleanliness. The Transitional era begins at the 
end of the fourth century and proceeds to the 
eighth, thus also comprising four centuries. Dur- 
ing this time vestment-usage rapidly developed 
in the churches of the West, till it culminated in 
the gorgeous enrichment of medieval times. 

Whence do we derive the fullest Information 
on Vestments in this Period? 

From the fourth Council of Toledo (633) under 
the presidency of St. Isidore, of Seville. Its 
twenty-eighth canon provides for the case of a 
cleric who had been unjustly degraded from his 
Order, and ordains that such a one if he be found 
innocent in a subsequent synod, "cannot be re- 
instated in his former position unless he regains 
his lost dignities before the altar, at the hands of a 
bishop. If he be a bishop, he must receive the 
ovarium (stole) and planeta (chasuble); if a 
deacon, the orarium and alba (alb); if a sub- 
deacon, the paten and chalice, and similarly for 
the other Orders — they must receive, on their 
restoration, whatever they received at their 

On the principle that the clergy of the higher 
Orders added the insignia of the lower Orders 

Sacred Vestments in General 429 

to those of their own, this procedure helps us to 
make this distribution of vestments at this period 
in Spain: 

Alba: worn by all alike. 

Orarium: worn by deacons, priests and bishops. 

Planeta: worn by priests and bishops. 

Ring and Staff: exclusively for bishops. 

What Pope supplements this Knowledge of 

Some letters of Gregory the Great (590-604) 
give us particulars relative to these other vest- 
ments not in general use, which signifies either 
that they were reserved to the clergy of Rome, 
or were in the gift of the Pope. These are the 
dalmatica, (dalmatic), mappula (little napkin, 
maniple) and the pallium. 

What further light is shed on this Subject? 

An anonymous MS. of uncertain date — Martene 
ascribes it to the sixth and Marriott to the tenth 
century — found in the monastery of Autun, 
enumerates the pallium, casula (chasuble), 
manualia (bracelets), vestimentum (maniple), 
alba and stole as the vestments worn in the 
Gallican Church. The manualia are found in no 
other Western list and suggest a derivation from 
the Eastern Church, where the Epimanikia, cor- 
responding to the Western maniple, are worn on 
each arm, and not pendent on the arm, but encom- 

430 The Mass and Vestments 

passing it so that they rather resemble cuffs than 
napkins suspended on the wrists. They are in- 
tended to represent the bands in which Christ was 

When does information regarding Vest- 
ments begin to be Specific? 

In the ninth century and on through the Mid- 
dle Ages. Prior to that time, Christian literature 
and art had been retarded, first by persecution, 
then by war and tumult. The military genius of 
Charlemagne effected a general peace in 812, and 
under his enthusiastic patronage a true renais- 
sance took place in learning and art. For the 
first time active and systematic researches were 
made into the details of doctrine and ritual of the 
Church of the preceding centuries. This was the 
age of Rabanus Maurus and Walafrid Strabo. As 
all knowledge of classical antiquity had for three 
centuries or more been well nigh extinct, it is in- 
telligible that a solution of the phenomena of 
Christian vestments would be sought on the 
theory of a Levitical origin. 

At what period was the largest increase 
made to Vestments? 

In the interval between the ninth and eleventh 
centuries the number of recognized vestments 
was doubled. To exhibit the extent of these 
changes the subjoined table in parallel columns is 

Sacred Vestments in General 431 

submitted, and a uniform nomenclature has been 
adopted so that the reader may see at a glance 
the date of the various additions: 

Bibliography: Catholic Dictionary; O'Brien, History of 
the Mass; Hierurgia, Rock; Sacra Liturgia, Vander Stappen; 
De SS. Eucharistia, Gasparri; Monuments of the Early 
Church, Lowrie; Vestiarium Christianum, Marriott; Eccles- 
iastical Vestments, Macalister; Irish Eccles. Record, Jan., 
May, 1906, April, June, 1907; Am. Eccles Review, Feb., 
Sept, 1890, Feb., 1891, June, 1892, July, Aug., Sept., Dec, 
1904; Origin of Christian Worship, Duchesne. 



What are the Sacred Vestments employed by 
a Priest in Celebrating Mass? 

Six: Amice, alb, cincture, maniple, stole and 

What is the Amice and how does it derive 
its name? 

It is a rectangular piece of linen about three 
feet long and two feet wide, with a string at two 
of its upper corners by which to gird it on the 
shoulders of the wearer, and a cross on the mid- 
dle of the upper edge which the priest kisses 
when vesting. Its name is derived from a Latin 
verb, amicire (to clothe or cover ) . 

Is it known in the Liturgy by any other 

It is also called Humeral from the Latin 
humerus (a shoulder); Anabolagium from a Greek 
synonym of a cloak; Ephod, because it resembles 
the Aaronic garment of that name. This last 
analogy is rejected by modern authorities. 

What was the Primitive Use of the Amice? 

It is uncertain. It might have been a neck- 
cloth introduced for reasons of seemliness, to hide 
the bare throat, or again a kerchief which pro- 

Sacred Vestments— The Amice 433 

tected the richer vestments from the perspiration, 
so apt in southern climates to stream from face 
and neck, or perhaps a winter muffler protecting 
the throat of those who in the interest of church 
music had to care for their voices. The sub- 
deacon at his ordination receives the amice from 
the bishop, who says to him: "Receive the amice 
by which is signified the discipline of the voice" 
(castigatio vocis ). Whilst we have lost the exact 
meaning of this phrase, it seems to have reference 
to some primitive use of the amice as a sort of 
muffler to protect the throat. 

With more assurance we can affirm the amice 
was destined as a covering for the head, neck and 
shoulders, it being the first vestment donned. As 
a head covering it remained in vogue until the 
tenth century, when it was replaced by the 
ecclesiastical cap, or berretta. Many of the older 
Religious Orders, like the Capuchins and Domini- 
cans, still wear the amice after the fashion which 
prevailed in the Middle Ages. It covers the 
head and shoulders as the full-vested priest goes 
to the altar. There he throws it back from the 
head, giving it, as it hangs about the neck and 
over the chasuble, the appearance of a small 
cowl. It thus forms a sort of collar to protect 
the stole and chasuble from contact with the 
skin. On his return to the sacristy, the amice is 
again drawn over the head, and thus in passing 
to and from the altar, it is used as a head-cover- 

434 The Mass and Vestments 

ing in lieu of the modern berretta. With the ex- 
ception of the older Religious Orders, this method 
of wearing the amice has fallen into desuetude 
for the clergy at large, and the only surviving 
trace of it is the rubric directing that in putting 
it on, the amice should for a moment be laid upon 
the head before it is adjusted about the neck. 

What is its Material? 

Linen, woven from the fibre of flax and hemp, 
is the only permissible material. A little cross 
must be sewed to, or worked upon the amice in 
the middle, which the priest is directed to kiss 
when assuming it. 

What is the Mystical Meaning of the Amice? 

It may be gleaned from the prayer recited in 
donning it: "Place upon my head, Lord, the 
helmet of salvation for repelling the attacks of the 
evil one." It is part of the armor of a soldier of 
Christ, and reminds him that life is a warfare in 
which he must strive for the victory. 

Who is entitled to Wear the Amice? 

The amice being a sacred vestment should not 
be worn by clerics below the grade of sub-deacon. 

Is the Amice alivays put on before the Alb? 

Ordinarily, it is. In the Ambrosian rite, how- 
ever, it is donned after the alb. The Pope, when 
pontificating, wears a sort of second amice of 
striped silk called janon, which is assumed after 

Sacred Vestments— The Amice 435 

the alb and then folded back over the neck of 
the chasuble. 

When did the Amice become a Liturgical 

It is uncertain. Theodulph of Orleans (821) 
and Walafrid Strabo (849) make no mention of it. 
The "Admonitio Synodalis," credited to the ninth 
century, distinctly enjoins that no one must say 
Mass without amice, alb, stole, maniple and 

Is the Amice Synonomous with the Almuce, 
also styled Amys or Amess? 

It is not. The Amuce, from the Teutonic Muce 
(cap or hood) and the Arabic article al, probably 
a Spanish prefix, was a hood lined with fur, and, 
like the cassock, designed to protect the priest 
from cold. In winter, the churches, never very 
warm, would have been uninhabitable before the 
invention of heating stoves or furnaces had it not 
been for comfortable articles of apparel such as 
these. It was shaped so that it could lie over the 
shoulders as a tippet, or be drawn over the head 
as a hood. The cloth exterior was black usually, 
like the cassock, and the fur lining varied in 
color and quality with the rank of the wearer. 
Doctors of divinity and canons wore an almuce 
lined with gray fur, and all others a dark brown 
fur. About the year 1300 the almuce as a hood 
was superseded by a cap. 



What is the Purpose of the Cincture? 

To gather up the long and broad 
alb that it may be fitted closely to 
the body. It is tied about the waist 
to keep the alb in its proper place. 
Laborers, soldiers and pilgrims were 
wont to gird themselves to secure 
their long loose garments to facili- 
tate their movements. 

By what Other Names is it 
It is also called zone, girdle, band 


What is the Material of the Cincture? 

The ancient usage favors linen cinctures. Wool 
is also permitted. (Decree of December 23, 1862). 
Silk is also tolerated, because to the question, 
whether a priest could use a silk cincture, the 
Sacred Congregation of Rites (Decree of January 
22, 1701) replied that a linen cincture would 
better meet all the proprieties. 

What is the Color of the Cincture? 
Formerly it varied in color to harmonize with 

The Cincture 437 

the color of the vestments. Now it is almost ex- 
clusively white, although other colors may be 
used according to the option of the priest. Termi- 
nating both ends are two large tassels of the 
same color as the cord. 

What ivas its original Shape? 

It was wide like a sash, of silk and cloth of gold 
and studded with gems. 

What is the Form of the Cincture in the 
Oriental Church? 

Among the Greeks and Syrians the cincture is 
broader than ours, and instead of being knotted 
is buckled in front with a hook or clasp. 

What is the Subcingulum or Succinctorium? 

It takes the form of a girdle passed around the 
alb, and having on the left side a maniple-like 
appendage. Innocent III, writing at the begin- 
ning of the thirteenth century, describes the 
vestment as peculiar to bishops. Now we know 
it is reserved for the exclusive use of the Pope. 
The history of its origin and use is the most 
curious and difficult of all the priestly vestments. 
Very probably it is a modification into an orna- 
ment of something designed for a natural require- 
ment. When the maniple became too narrow, 
and too richly embroidered for use as a handker- 
chief, a plain piece of cloth may have been sub- 
stituted for it which would require a pocket in 

438 The Mass and Vestments 

which to place it Again, a receptacle would be 
needed for the thumbstall or thimble placed on 
the thumb, after it had been dipped in chrism, 
to keep it from soiling the vestments, and also for 
the metal "apples," in which hot water was placed 
when the day was cold. The subcingulum may 
have supplied these wants. 

What is the Symbolic Significancy of the 

It is revealed in the following prayer which the 
priest says in assuming it: "Gird me, Lord! 
with the cincture of purity and extinguish in my 
loins the heat of concupiscence that the virtue of 
continence and chastity may abide in me." 




What is the Alb? 

It is a white linen vestment, 
with close fitting sleeves, reach- 
ing nearly to the ground and 
secured around the waist by a 

By what names has it been 

In the past it has been known 
by various names: tunica linea 
(linen tunic) from its material; 
tunica talaris and talaris 
(ankle tunic) from tali (ankles) 
because it reaches to the feet; 
camisia (shirt) from the shirt-like nature of the 
garment; alba (white) from its color; alba 
Romana (Roman alb) to distinguish it from the 
shorter tunics which found favor outside Rome. 

What name alone survives in our day? 

The name of alb or alba (white) is almost the 
only surviving name. 

Is there any difference between the Liturgi- 
cal Alb and the Albse Vestes {white garments) 
of Medieval Writers? 


440 The Mass and Vestments 

The alb is ordinarily a clerical garment, although 
laymen are sometimes clothed in it in Corpus 
Christi processions, notably in the ancient city of 
Aigues Mortes, where the writer witnessed this 
use of it. The Albse Vestes were, however, the 
white garments assumed by the newly baptized 
on Holy Saturday and worn until Low Sunday, 
which was consequently known as Dominica in 
Albis (deponendis) , the Sunday of the (laying 
aside of these) white garments. Possibly our 
Whit Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost baptisms 
may derive its name from a similar practice. 
These white garments were also called "Chrismals." 

What is the origin of the Alb? 

It is impossible to speak positively of the origin 
of this vestment. Medieval liturgists who favored 
the Mosaic origin of the vestments imagined they 
found its counterpart in the Kethonet, a white 
linen tunic of which we read in Exodus, ch. 
XXVIII, v. 39. But a white linen tunic also 
formed a part of the ordinary attire of both 
Romans and Greeks under the Empire, and most 
modern authorities, like Duchesne and Braun, think 
it needless to look further for the origin of the alb. 

Where is the first mention oj it as an item 
of ordinary dress? 

In a passage of Trebellius Pollio, who speaks of 
an alba subserica (a half silken alb) mentioned 
in a letter sent from Valerian to Zosimus, Procura- 
tor of Syria (260-270) . 

The Alb 


What was its Shape and Use in everyday 
life of the Roman Citizen? 

Of the garments worn in everyday life by the 
Roman citizen, the innermost was the tunica 
talaris (ankle tunic) or long tunic. It was white and 
usually of wool. It was called talaris, or long, because 
being the alb of ceremony, it was distinguished 
from the short tunic, used when freedom was 
required for active exertion. The tunics of sena- 
tors and knights were specialized by two strips of 
purple, in the former case broad (lati clavi) in the 
latter, narrow (angusti clavi) which crossed each 
shoulder and descended both before and behind 
as far as the bottom of the garment. 

The tunic was originally a sleeveless garment. 
An age of luxury gradually introduced a new kind 
of tunic provided with sleeves. The older or sleeve- 
less tunic was called 
colobium, a Latinized 
form of a Greek adjec- 
tive signifying docked 
or curtailed. The 
sleeve tunic was nam- 
ed tunica mancata 
(long sleeved tunic) 
or tunica Dalmatica 
(Dalmatian tunic) 
from the name of the 
province, Dalmatia, to 
which its invention is 






O Z 

a: — 



- D 

en -> 






The Alb 443 

Although the use of this latter garment, in the 
beginning, was discredited as effeminate, it event- 
ually ousted its more austere rival from popular 
favor, for we find that anno. 258, St. Cyprian of 
Carthage, wore a tunica dalmatica, over which 
was a byrrhus, or cloak, when led out to martyr- 
dom. At such a solemn crisis, it is incredible that 
Cyprian would have assumed a merely luxurious 
garment, and equally incredible that he was 
robed in ecclesiastical vestments. 

How does the Liturgical Alb compare with 
this Tunica Dalmatica? 

It also has the tight sleeves reaching to the 
wrist. Both are worn in the same manner, and 
both reached to the feet. The ancient frescoes 
represent ecclesiastics wearing albs which show 
ornaments disposed like the clavi (bands) of the 
tunica talaris. These clavi by their relative 
width distinguish representations of Christ from 
the Apostles, and help to discriminate between 
the figures of ecclesiastics of different ranks. 

When and by Whom is it first recorded as a 
Mass Vestment? 

Pope St. Sylvester (253-257) ordained, "that 
deacons should use the dalmatica in the church, 
and that their left hands should be covered with 
a cloth of mingled wool and linen." (Migne, 
Patrol, vol. CXXVII, 1514). The left hand cover- 
ing refers to the maniple. The Pseudo-Alcuin 

444 The Mass and Vestments 

tells us that, "the use of the dalmaticas (long- 
sleeved albs) was instituted by Pope Sylvester, for 
previously, colobia (sleeveless albs) had been 
worn." (Migne, vol. CI, 1243). St. Isidore of Seville 
(560-636) also refers to it. (Migne, LXXXII, 
635). The forty-first Canon of the Fourth Coun- 
cil of Carthage (400) ordains that the deacon shall 
wear an alb only "tempore oblationis tantum 
vel lectionis" (during the Mass or liturgical read- 
ing). (Labbe, Sacrosancta Concilii (1671) vol. II, 
col. 1203). The first Council of Narbonne (589) 
enacts that, "neither deacon nor sub-deacon, nor 
yet the lector shall presume to put off his alb 
until after Mass is over." (Labbe, vol. 5, col. 1030). 

In Use and Shape how has this Vestment 

Until the middle of the twelfth century, all 
clerics wore the alb in their sacred functions, 
assisting at Mass, or a Synod and taking Com- 
munion to the sick. In the monasteries, not only 
the officiating monks wore the albs, but also those 
who sat in the stalls. Since the twelfth century, 
the surplice has gradually been substituted for 
the alb, except for sub-deacon, deacon, priest and 
bishop actually officiating. At present it is little 
used outside Mass. 

In form the vestment has not changed, except 
in the enlargement or contraction of its lateral 
dimensions. Prior to the ninth century it was of 

The Alb 445 

generous size, because the cassock and inner gar- 
ments were worn under it, and the cassock of 
that age was usually lined with fur, making it a 
clumsy garment. This flowing robe, by exper- 
ience was found to seriously impede the priest in 
some of his functions, for instance in administer- 
ing Baptism by immersion. A close-fitting alb 
was adopted for use on such occasions, and this 
baptism-alb became the parent of the more con- 
tracted medieval alb which came into general use 
in all the offices of the Church. 

Will the Alb now admit of Ornament? 

It admits of lace as an ornament, and also a 
colored lining behind the cuff of the sleeves (decree 
of July 12, 1892) although the Congregation of 
Rites had prohibited this by a former decree. 

What was the Ornamentation of Albs in 
former ages? 

Rich and heavy embroideries decorated the 
lower edge, wrists and neck. In the thirteenth 
century the fashion of -'apparels" came into vogue. 
These were oblong patches of rich brocade, or 
embroidery sewed to the lower rim, the wrists, 
breast or back, or both. Later, except in Milan 
in the Ambrosian rite, these albs disappeared 
before the introduction of lace as an ornament. 

What is the Material and Color oj the Alb? 
The body and sleeves must be made of linen; 

446 The Mass and Vestments 

hence cotton or wool is forbidden. By a decree 
of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (May 15, 1819) 
cotton albs and amices then in vogue were allowed 
until worn out. Their successors must, however, 
be linen. The same privilege was denied for 
corporals, palls and purificators. For Spain it was 
decreed that a special vegetable fibre, not hemp, 
but kindred to it, was improper material. (Decree 
of August 13, 1895). In the Vicariate of China, 
a vegetable fibre called "hia-pou" of the same 
family as hemp, was permitted because of a long 
enduring custom, poverty and difficulty of procuring 
linen. (Decree, June 27, 1898). The color must 
now be white. Medieval inventories show blue, red 
and black albs, and albs made in silk, velvet and cloth 
of gold. In isolated instances the use of silk and 
colored albs still lingers in the East and West. 

What is the Significancy of the Alb? 

According to Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) the 
alb from the purity of its color denotes newness 
of life. This was exemplified in the practice of 
clothing the newly-baptized in white garments 
with these words: "Receive this white and spot- 
less garment, which you are to bear before the 
tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you may 
possess eternal life. Amen." 

Priests of the Latin Church put on the alb with 
this prayer: "Purify me, Lord ! and make me 
clean of heart, that washed in the blood of the 
Lamb, I may possess eternal joy." 



What is the Maniple? 

It is a small strip of cloth, uniform in material 
with the stole and chasuble, embroidered with a 
triple cross — one in the middle and one at each of 
its extremities, worn on the left wrist, to which it 
is attached by a pin or string. It is of the same 
width as the stole and is about two feet long. 
When in place, it hangs equally on both sides. 

What are its Ancient Names? 

Maniple, fanon (fano, to dedicate), sudarium 
(sweat-cloth), mappula (small napkin), linteum 
(linen-cloth) and mantele (napkin). 

From what source do ive obtain a knowledge 
of its use? 

The early Christian monuments fail to furnish 
any illustration of the unfolded towel upon the 
shoulder of the deacon, and its stages of develop- 
ment between that and the narrow band of cloth 
as we know it now. The Pagan monuments, 
however, are more responsive and give us frequent 
examples of such a towel borne upon the left 
shoulder of camilli (youths who ministered at the 
sacrifices), and delicati (table-servants), and of 

448 The Mass and Vestments 

the contabulatio (folding or plaiting), which this 
mantele underwent, notwithstanding its strictly 
practical purpose. The Rt. Rev. Monsignor Wilpert, 
Protonotary Apostolic, in his "Un Capitolo di 
storia del Vestiario," reproduces and illustrates 
many such monuments. They reveal it in the 
early part of the Empire as, on one side, rough 
(villosum, like Turkish towelling), and afterwards 
of fine linen which permitted it to be neatly 

To whom was its use first appointed? 

Vander Stappen testifies that, primitively, all 
those who offered, or accepted anything at the 
altar had the hands covered with a white napkin. 
In the fourth centurv it was reserved to the 
deacons of Rome as their peculiar privilege, to 
cover the left hand with the mappula whilst 
serving at special functions. 

Why was it given to the Deacon? 

Such a towel was demanded by the deacons in 
the early period because their service was then 
far more material than it is now. Part of the 
support of the clergy was furnished by offerings 
received by the deacon, out of which he had to 
separate the bread and wine for the Mass. In the 
Mass itself, the sacred vessels were larger as the 
consumption was more frequent, if not greater, 
and the purifying of these was the deacon's ex- 
clusive duty. It was also his privilege to minister 

The Maniple 449 

to the celebrant with water and towel for the 
washing of his hands. 

What was the Original Use of the Maniple? 

It served as a towel, or napkin and kerchief to 
absorb the perspiration of the wearer, and dry 
the hands to prevent the soiling of the vestments. 
Alcuin, in the ninth century, thus refers to it: 

"The little kerchief which is worn on the left 
hand, wherewith we wipe off the moisture of the 
eyes and nose designates the present life in which 
we suffer from superfluous humors." 

Amalerius, a contemporary, also testifies: "We 
carry a handkerchief (sudarium) for the purpose 
of wiping the perspiration." It had, therefore, 
nothing in common with the mappa, or signal- 
cloth, with which the Emperor and higher officials 
gave the sign for the games. 

How was the Maniple worn? 

In its towel and napkin form it was carried on 
the left shoulder and over the left hand. In its 
liturgical form it was first worn over the fingers 
of the left hand, as may be seen in the figure of 
Archbishop Stigand in the Bayeux tapestry. This 
arrangement was most inconvenient as it was 
constantly liable to slip off, and the fingers had to 
be held in a constrained attitude throughout the 
service. It was early found more convenient to 
place the vestment over the left wrist, to which it 
is attached by pin or ribbon. The few effigies 

450 The Mass and Vestments 

which represent it on the right wrist are unauthor- 
ized by any liturgical rule, and can only be 
attributed to the blunder of the engraver or 

When did the Maniple become a Liturgical 

At the end of the fourth century, when the 
Council of Laodicea forbade its use to sub-deacons 
and the inferior clergy. 

What are the steps of the development of the 
Maniple into a Liturgical Vestment? 

In the sixth century, John, Archbishop of 
Ravenna, petitioned Pope St. Gregory the Great, 
to permit his minor clergy to wear the maniple in 
imitation of the clergy of Rome, which was 
granted only to the first deacons of Ravenna. In 
the eighth century, the Pope began to wear it on 
his left hand. Rome and Ravenna monopolized 
its use until the tenth century. This date fixes 
its limit as a handkerchief. Thenceforth it began 
to be worn as a liturgical vestment, and by the 
twelfth century it was in general usage, not under 
the form of a simple white kerchief, but as an 
ornament of symbolical significancy, of the same 
material as the stole and chasuble. The twelfth 
century determines the date when the maniple 
was given to sub-deacons in their ordination. 

When is the Maniple Assumed? 

By priest, deacon and sub-deacon it is assumed 

The Maniple 451 

after the cincture and before the stole, when these 
ministers are vesting for special functions. It is 
assumed by a bishop-celebrant only after he has 
been entirely vested, and has proceeded in the 
Mass to the "indulgentiam" after the Confiteor, 
just prior to his ascent to the altar. 

Why is the Bishop invested with the Maniple 
at that time? 

To perpetuate the memory of an ancient custom 
when the ample and enveloping chasuble com- 
pletely covered the celebrant. This chasuble was 
folded back over the hands by the deacon and 
sub-deacon just before the celebrant ascended the 
altar steps to begin Mass, and only then was 
the maniple given because its employment was 
impossible before. Now by the curtailment of 
the chasuble this is rendered unnecessary, but the 
love of her ancient days, and her desire to impress 
them upon the veneration of her children prompts 
the Church to continue the antique custom in a 
bishop's Mass only. 

What determines the use and the non-use oj 
the Maniple? 

Its ancient usage as a linen napkin covering the 
hands when receiving the offerings of the faith- 
ful and delivering them to the celebrant in the 
Mass. In accordance with this custom, the 
maniple is not put on by the celebrant until after 
the Asperges, and is removed for Benediction and 

452 The Mass and Vestments 

the Absolution after a Mass of requiem, and is not 
worn at Vespers. This is another memorial of its 
primitive use. 

Is the Maniple a Vestment in the Oriental 

The maniple of the Eastern is very different 
from that of the Western Church. Two maniples 
are worn, one on each arm, taking the form of 
ample, loose surplice sleeves fastened to the wrists 
by a silken string. The bishop's maniple is 
decorated with an icon, or image of the Saviour 
which is presented to the people to be kissed. 
These maniples are called Epimanikia, (some- 
thing worn on the hand) from Greek epi, upon, 
and Latin manus, a hand. 

What is the Significancy of the Maniple? 

It signifies: 

(a) The chains whereby Christ was bound to 
the column of flagellation. 

(6) The tears of penance and the labors and 
fruits of a good life. When the priest assumes it, 
he says: "May I deserve, Lord, to bear the 
maniple of weeping and sorrow in order that I 
may reap joyfully the reward of my labors," 

The bishop in ordaining a sub-deacon says whilst 
investing him with the maniple: "Receive the 
maniple by which is tokened the fruit of good 




1 1 What is the Stole? 

It is a band of cloth of the 
same material as the maniple and 
chasuble when worn by a full- 
vested priest and deacon, ordi- 
narily of the same width as the 
maniple but very much longer. 
When worn by the priest at 
special functions like Benediction 
and preaching, its texture is dis- 
tinctly precious with rich orna- 
mentation and larger than the 
Mass-stole. , 

The stole in use for confessions, 
sick calls and the administration of 
the sacraments is of humbler 
material and more contracted in 

How is the Stole Worn? 

The Mass-stole is worn around 
the neck by the bishop and abbot 
when pontificating, pendent on both 
sides, and not crossed at the breast, 


454 The Mass and Vestments 

because the pectoral cross has been already 
donned. It is carried by the priest in the same 
manner, with the exception that it is crossed on 
his breast and held in position by the cincture. 
The earliest representation of an episcopal stole 
is given in a mosaic of the early sixth century at 
Ravenna. Priests generally wore the stole like 
the bishops. The practice of crossing it on the 
breast is ancient, but did not become general until 
a late period. It is worn by the deacon only on 
the left shoulder and carried to the right side 
under the arm where it is crossed and held in 
place either by the cincture or a small connecting 
band. This mode of wearing it suggests his in- 
feriority to the priest and his freedom of service 
by leaving the right hand unencumbered when 
ministering at the altar. In functions outside the 
Mass the priest wears the stole equally pendent 
on both sides. 

Who has a right to wear the Stole? 

All in sacred Orders, including deacons. The 
Council of Laodicea, (364) prohibited the stole to 
lectors and sub-deacons. "The Levite (deacon) 
ought to wear one Orarion (stole) on his left 
shoulder because he orates, that is preaches." 

When and why is the Stole worn? 

The rubrics prescribe, or custom sanctions the 
wearing of the stole in all functions where graces 

The Stole 455 

and blessings are imparted, like in all that con- 
cerns the Blessed Eucharist, the administration of 
the sacraments, the use and blessing of sacra- 
mentals, and often in preaching. Because it is a 
symbol of spiritual power and jurisdiction, it was 
formerly more frequently worn, and a Council of 
Mayence (813 ) ordered priests to wear it " without 

The present discipline restricts its presence to 
those functions wherein this spiritual power is 
exercised and applied. As an emblem of juris- 
diction among priests it holds a significancy akin 
to that of the pallium among archbishops. 

What was the original name of the Stole? 

What is its Derivation? 

The origin and use of this vestment have been 
a source of much research to scholars. Here is a 
list of possible derivations: 

(1) Ora, because used to wipe the face. 

(2) Orare, because used in prayer. 

(3) Hora, because it indicated the time of the 
various parts of the service. 

(4) Ora, (a coast) because claiming to be 
originally the edging or orphrey of a lost garment. 

How do Authorities vary in Determining 
the Origin of the Stole? 

456 The Mass and Vestments 

The Council of Toledo (633) inclines to a deriva- 
tion from orare, to pray. Cardinal Bona finds 
its source in No. 4 and conjectures that it is 
merely the ornamental selvage of what was the 
real stole of the ancients. O'Brien traces its 
origin to No. 3, as if it were used as a signal 
cloth, to indicate the progress of the Mass, and he 
claims to find corroboration of this usage of the 
stole in the Eastern Church of to-day. Marriott, 
Vander Stappen, Rock, Macalister, Walter Lowrie, 
Gihr and all more recent liturgists find its proto- 
type in No. 1, Ova, because employed as a 
kerchief, towel or scarf. 

According to this Theory what was its 
Primitive Use? 

The towel and scarf-use seems to have been 
distinct and peculiar to different grades of the 
clergy. For example, with deacons, the Orarium 
was a towel, and then it was easily confused with 
the maniple. Indeed, it is very possible that stole 
and maniple went by the common name of 
Orarium, when worn by a deacon. In this rela- 
tion the two earliest church writers to mention 
this vestment are St. Isidore of Pelusium (Ep. I, 
136) and the preacher of the sermon on the 
Prodigal Son, credited to St. Chrysostom. Both 
call it "othone" (linteum, linen) which is the same 
as our towel. It was worn by deacons on the 
left shoulder. One compares it to the towel of Our 

The Stole 457 

Saviour when washing the Apostles' feet; an- 
other recognizes in it a likeness to Angels' wings. 

But the Orarion or Orarium was also a scarf. 
St. Ambrose speaks of the dead face of Lazarus 
as bound with an Orarium, and St. Augustine 
employs the same term to describe a bandage 
used to protect a wounded eye. This scarf-use 
of the Orarium, peculiar to priests and bishops, 
explains the mode of their wearing it, as dis- 
tinguished from deacons. When a towel, it was 
linen. When a scarf, its texture was that of 
white wool or colored silk and worn around the 
neck and under the chasuble, as it is now, for it 
was properly a neck-cloth. 

The tunic of those primitive days was without 
collar, and the dalmatic and chasuble had aper- 
tures too broad to afford any protection for the 
neck. The neck demanded care in the severe 
cold, and the dignity of the service prescribed that 
the necks of the ministers be covered. As the 
neck scarf was in vogue at the end of the Em- 
pire, priests and bishops took the model and usage 
of the Orarium or stole from it. When the 
deacon's Orarium had become a mere ornamental 
scarf it differed from that of the priest only in the 
method of its wearing. For example, bishops 
wore it over the chasuble, priests under the 
chasuble, and deacons over the left shoulder, 
hanging straight down at front and back, and not 
crossed under the right arm as now. 


The Mass and Vestments 


What looks like the 
contemporary heir of 
this ancient scarf as to 
use and material is that 
distinctly Papal vest- 
ment called the Ovale 
or Fanon from Jano 
(banner) worn only by 
a Pope when solemnly 
celebrating. This Fanon 
is an oblong piece of 
white silk gauze about 
one yard long with trans- 
verse stripes of gold, blue 
and red. It is cast 
upon the head of the Pope like a hood, and its 
two ends crossed and carried to the right and left 
shoulders, and there retained until the Chasuble 
is assumed, when the Fanon is thrown back and 
adjusted to the neck and shoulders of the vest- 
ment like a tippet. 

As, however, it is also the name used for the 
lappet of a mitre, and is an old form of amice, and 
also the title of the linen cloth for handling the 
holy vessels and the Offertory bread, its origin is 
difficult to trace. 

What is the History of the Ovarium in its 
Civic Relations? 

Originally, the word is connected with os, the 

The Stole 459 

mouth, of which or is the real root-form, or in its 
plural form, ora, the face. Then it may be re- 
garded as equivalent to our own "handkerchief." 
It is curious that the earliest reliable mention of 
it does not present it as a handkerchief, but as a 
scarf. We first hear of it in Trebellius Pollio, a 
writer of the fourth century and a contemporary 
of Constantine. He narrates how the Emperor 
Gallienus( 260-268) sent to Claudius, his successor, 
four Oraria as an imperial present. A few years 
after, the Emperor Aurelian (270-275) was the 
first to distribute oraria as presents to the people, 
to be used by them "a&javorem" that is probably 
as colors to be worn and waved at the circus 
when the public games were on, much in the 
same way as ribbons of various colors are worn 
now "ad favorem" among ourselves as emblems 
of fraternities of rival schools. 

As representing a period a little later, we recog- 
nize in the group of courtiers attending the 
Emperor sculptured on the arch of Constantine a 
ribbon or scarf distinguishing some of them, pre- 
senting nearly the appearance of a "ribbon" of 
knighthood, such as is worn as an honorary dis- 
tinction in our own day. This broad ribbon or 
scarf corresponds in general appearance to the 
orarium on the earliest ecclesiastical monuments. 

The orarium was also spread over the head and 
shoulders by women in time of prayer, falling 
about them like a veil. 

460 The Mass and Vestments 

These facts create a presumption of the adapta- 
tion of these oraria, with certain modifications, 
to Christian use of distinctive insignia in the 
Church of what had been previously used in secu- 
lar life as marks of special privilege, or of official 
dignity. The fact that the date of these adapta- 
tions, both in East and West, is not earlier than 
that "of the peace of the Church" so called, in 
the time of Constantine, adds considerably to the 
probability of this conjecture because of the more 
fully developed organization which then first 
became possible. 

The vestment now known in the Western 
Church as a "stole" was called orarium (not stole) 
till the close of the Transition Period. The Greek 
word Stole is never used in the Latin sense of a 
"stole," but retains in ecclesiastical and Byzantine 
Greek its older classical meaning. 

What is the Meaning of ' 'Stole" according to 
Classic Greek? 

In the Prophet Ezekiel (chap. XLIV, v. 19) we 
read: "And when they (the priests) go forth out 
of the outer court they shall put off their gar- 
ments." The word "garment" is translated in 
the Vulgate, "Stolas" (stoles) . It is used either: 

(a) As a generic term for the entire vesture 
of the priest considered as a whole; or 

(6) Generally in the plural Stolai, or particular 
vestments spoken of as portions of that whole; or 

(c) Of a vestment distinguished by beauty or rank. 

The Stole 461 

When in the Western Church was the Stole 
used in the Technical Sense which it now Bears? 

In the ninth century. By the twelfth century 
the new name had superseded the ancient one 
very generally. The Roman Pontifical, however, 
in the ordination of a priest still employs the two 
terms, "orarium" and "stole" to describe this 

What Special Decrees were Promulgated by 
Councils with Reference to the Stole? 

To restrain a laxity in the wearing of the stole, 
the fortieth act of the Fourth Council of Toledo 
(633) decreed that only one orarium is to be 
worn, and by deacons over the left shoulder. 
This rule does not seem to have been observed 
outside Spain, for in the Pontifical of Landulfus 
(ninth century) there is a representation of eccles- 
iastics wearing two oraria, one over each shoulder. 

The second Council of Braga, in northern 
Portugal (563) decreed that "since in some 
churches of this province the deacons wear their 
oraria hidden under the tunic, so that they cannot 
be distinguished from the sub-deacons, for the 
future they must be placed over their shoulders." 

The fourth Council of Braga (675) made an 
important decree regulating the wearing of the 
orarium by priests which has since been uni- 
versally followed. The vestment was to be placed 
round the neck, over each shoulder, crossed in 


The Mass and Vestments 

front and secured in this position by the girdle. 
Excommunication is the the penalty for any viola- 
tion of this injunction. 

The Council of Mayence (813) ordered that 
priests should always wear their or aria as a "dis- 
tinct symbol of sacerdotal dignity" — a custom 
which at present is restricted to the Pope. 

What Unusual Ornaments were Carried on 
the Earlier Stoles? 

Many of the stoles and maniples of the Anglo- 
Saxon Church had little bells of gold and silver 
c.ttached to them which emitted delicate music 
when the minister changed his position. 

What is the Form of the Stole in the Eastern 


It is called Epitra- 
chelion (worn upon 
the neck), and instead 
of being parted as 
with us to allow it to 
hang equally on both 
sides, it is made of 
one piece, with a seam 
down its middle, and 
an opening at the top 
wide enough to allow 
it to be passed over 
the priest's head. It 
is suspended in front 
of the priest, reaching nearly to the instep. 

The Stole 463 

What is the Symbolic Meaning of the Stole? 

It may be ascertained by the prayers uttered in 
its investiture. The bishop gives the stole to the 
newly-ordained deacon with the words: "Receive 
this shining white stole from the hand of God; 
fulfill your ministry; for God is powerful to in- 
crease His grace in you." When the bishop places 
the stole on the new priest in the form of a cross, 
he says: "Take upon you the yoke of the Lord; 
for His yoke is sweet and His burden light." 
When vesting for Mass, the priest dons the stole 
saying: "Give me anew, Lord, the robe of im- 
mortality, which I have lost by the prevarication 
of our first parents, and although I am unworthy 
to approach Thy holy Mysteries, may I yet merit 
eternal joy." 



What is the Chasuble? 

It is the outer, or 
super-vestment which 
is last assumed. In its 
present form it is open 
at both sides and top, 
and as it is passed over 
the head to rest on the 
shoulders it reaches to 
the knees in front, 
and a few inches lower 

By what Names is 
it described? 

(a) Amphibalus, 
from the Greek, to 
clothe. This was its 
name in the ancient 
Gallican Liturgy 
which Charlemagne 
suppressed at Papal 

(6) Infula (fillet) in many documents from the 
twelfth to the fifteenth century, in Germany, 



The Chasuble 


England and France. According to classical usage, 
infula meant that long band of linen or wool 
which was fastened 


about the head of 
pagan priests, or hung 
round the neck or 
body of the victims 
to be offered in sacri- 
fice. It was also used 
as the insignia of im- 
perial or magisterial 
rank and had nearly 
the meaning of an 
"official vestment," 
the context to deter- 
mine its special charac- 

(c) Paenula (from 
Greek phainolion, a 
cloak) . 

(d) Planeta, Ital- 
ian Pianeta— from the same root from which our 
planet is derived, viz., the Greek word to "wander," 
because its ample folds seemed to wander over the 
body. This is the popular title at Rome and in 

(e) Casulp,, a diminutive of casa (a hut) be- 
cause like a little house it covered the whole body. 
This is the favorite name outside Italy, and hence 


466 The Mass and Vestments 

in Spanish it is "Casulla," in French, "Chasuble," 
in English, "Chasuble," in German, "Casel," in 
Flemish, "Kasuifel." 

The Roman Missal and the Ceremonial of 
Bishops refer to it as Planeta; the Roman Ponti- 
fical however as Casula sometimes. 

Among these ivhich is the Oldest? 

What is the Material of the Chasuble? 

Since Amalarius of Metz speaks of the chasuble 
as the "general garment of sacred leaders," its 
prominence and dimensions emphasize its import- 
ance in determining the impressiveness and 
character of Mass vestments generally. For this 
reason, its material and color regulate these quali- 
ties in the remaining vestments. The color is 
prescribed by the rubrics, but the material has a 
wide range, such as gold cloth, brocade, silk, wool 
and linen. 

What is the Origin of the Chasuble? 

The parent of the chasuble was an outer gar- 
ment or storm cloak worn exclusively by slaves 
and peasants in the beginning. Plautus (B. C. 
254) makes the first mention of it in the third 
century before Christ in the line: 

"Jamne abis? Libertas paenula esttergo tuo." 
"Are you off then? Liberty is the overcoat 
for your back." — Mostellaria, or the Haunted 
House. Act IV, scene 3. 

The Chasuble 467 

It was made of heavy woolen cloth and some- 
times of leather. Instead of being wrapped about 

the body like the early 
toga, the head was 
thrust through a hole 
in the middle of it, 
and the body was 
snugly covered up as 
under a little cabin 
(casula). It was 
similar to the mantles 
worn by Alpine tour- 

FIRST FORM OF CHASUB LE jg^ an( J J-q ^q ^q^ 

known as "poncho," except that it was longer 
and furnished with a hood for protection 
of the head from cold or wet. This primitive 
shape is still retained in many parts of the 
East. In the Arabic version of the Coptic 
Liturgies it is called albornos (the burnous) 
with which Eastern travellers are familiar. 
In width and length we have many varieties 
of the ancient paenula, ranging from the "fiddle- 
back" chasuble of late Roman use and the 
Benedictine scapular, to the full-orbed, elliptical 
sweep of a later day. The gradual exaltation of 
the paenula from the garb of slaves and peasants 
to one which senators and Emperors might wear 
in travelling is attested by Roman literature. To 
wear it as an ordinary dress in the city, in Re- 
publican days, was regarded as a grave breach of 

468 The Mass and Vestments 

etiquette and unbecoming a gentleman. As late 
as the second century of our era its plebeian 
associations forbade its use by an Emperor in the 
city, no matter the weather. In the third century 
a special permission was given by the Emperor 
Alexander Severus to senators to wear the paenula 
even intra Urbem (within the city). 

The same decree forbade its use by women 
except when on a journey. It is not till 438, that 
we find the paenula installed in the place of the 
older toga as the distinctive garment of peaceful 
dignity, to be worn by senators to the exclusion 
of the warlike chlamys. A peculiar type of 
paenula called by Wilpert, "baroque" (1905) is 
seen in the frescoes of the catacombs. It is very 
long and full behind, but the front part is reduced 
to a small triangle which barely covers the breast. 
The same form seems to have been in use, at least 
occasionally, in the eleventh century as demon- 
strated by a picture of this date in the lower 
church of St. Clement, Rome. The Roman 
monuments lead us to suppose it was provided 
with a hood (cucullus) except for those worn in 
rainless Egypt. Even after the garment became 
a liturgical vestment, a vestige of the hood was 
preserved in the adornment, just as it is on the 

It was always dark in color, usually a chestnut 
brown, and in Egypt, brown or purple, solid 
throughout, without ornament, though the nar- 



























oc 2 

470 The Mass and Vestments 

row rectangular form was occasionally adorned 
with the clavus. 

Mention Some Examples of its Use in the 
Early Church? 

Many commentators suppose the cloak left by 
St. Paul at Troas with Carpus, which Timothy 
was to bring to Rome was a paenula (2 Tim. IV. 
13) . The mosaics of the catacombs, the mosaic 
portrait of St. Ambrose and the testimony of 
Sulpicius Severus (Dialog 2. 1) in reference to St. 
Martin of Tours (397) that he was accustomed 
to celebrate the Eucharist in a tunic and amphi- 
balus are decisive proofs of the broad, round 

Are the Three Names, Casula, Paenula and 
Planeta Identical? 

There is a strong probability that in form they 
were substantially the same. In the sixth and 
seventh centuries, however, a custom prevailed of 
distinguishing the casula as the humbler, simpler 
dress proper to poor men and monks, and the 
Planeta as the handsomer and more costly habit 
worn in ordinary life at Rome alike by senators 
and Popes, and in Spain, if not elsewhere, as the 
distinctive vestments of bishops and priests. The 
mosaic of St. Gregory and his father Gordianus, 
a Roman senator, represents them as wearing the 

The Chasuble 


Where is the First Mention of the Planeta 
as a Sacred Vestment? 

In the Acts of the Council of Toledo (633). Even 
then it is spoken of not as an innovation or new 
garment, but as the recognized habit of bishops 
and priests. St, Isidore who presided at that 
Council thus describes it: 

"The Casula is a gar- 
ment provided with a cowl, 
the name being a diminu- 
tive from casa, a house, 
because like a little house 
it covers the whole man. 
In like manner people say 
that in Greek Planetae 
are so called because the 
border of the planeta 
"wanders" in vague lines 
about the body. For which 
cause some stars are called "planetae" as implying 
that their movement is erratic and divergent." 

What is the Liturgical Usage for the Triple 
Name of this Vestment? 

There is no evidence to show that a vestment 
of Christian ministry was ever called paenula in 
the Latin churches, nor casula before the ninth 
century. Planeta was the name given to the 
super-vestment of the priesthood until the end of 
the eighth century. 




The Mass and Vestments 

When did the Planeta h come a Liturgical 

In the fifth century. Until the eighth century 
it was worn in common by those in Minor Orders. 
Subsequent to that time it became the exclusive 
vestment of bishops and priests in the celebration 
of Mass, and also of deacons and sub-deacons with 
certain modifications. For example, the deacon 
and sub-deacon in High Mass during Advent and 
Lent wear chasubles folded in front, laying them 
aside during the chanting of the Gospel and 
Epistle — a custom mentioned by Hugo St. Victor 

How Long did it Retain its Original Form? 

Until the fifteenth century. 

Why was its Primitive Form Changed? 

Because of the diffi- 
culty of providing a 
pliant, suitable mater- 
ial,especially in the six- 
teenth century. The 
introduction of the 
stiff, board-like cloth 
would have seriously 
encumbered the cele- 
brant if the ancient 
shape had been ad- 
hered to. To facilitate 
his movements a slit 




The Chasuble 


was cut in both sides, and thus the first step was 
taken in the development of the modern chasuble. 

Another reason was the inconvenience of cele- 
brating Mass with the old-style chasuble without 
the aid of a deacon and sub-deacon, as in many 
parts of the service it was necessary to fold and 
lift it up. As assistant ministers were not always 
at hand, and as private Masses became more 
frequent, a form of chasuble easily controlled by 
the priest became indispensable. 

The only trace of 
the ancient chasu- 
ble now existing is 
discernible in a bis- ! ,' < 
hop's Mass, for the •; ' 
maniple is not as- 
sumed until after 
the "Conflteor," be- 
cause it was then 
the assistants gath- 
ered up and arrang- 
ed the borders of the 
encircling chasuble 
upon the arms preparatory to the bishop's ascend- 
ing the steps of the altar. 

Where is the Original Form of the Primitive 
Chasuble still Retained? 
In the Greek Church, 



The Mass and Vestments 


What are the Prevailing Styles of Chasuble 

in the Latin Church? 

The Gothic, the Roman, the Gallican or French, 

the chasuhle of St. Charles Borromeo, which 

approximated the 
Gothic, and the 
chasuble of Gavan- 
tus the famous lit- 
urgist of the seven- 
teenth century. 

How do these 
Chas i ( bles differ ? 

In form there is a 
general conformity, 
and in dimensions 
there is a varying 


The Chasuble 475 

What is the present status of the Gothic 
Chasuble as a Liturgic Vestment? 

About 1850 there was a revival of the early 
Gothic, or pointed vestment accompanying a re- 
newal of interest in Gothic architecture in Eng- 
land, France, Germany and Belgium, as a protest 
against the inartistic abridgment of the chasuble, 
and the question of its legitimacy was referred to 
the Sacred Congregation of Rites, who in turn 
assigned the whole subject to John Corazza, the 
Master of Apostolic Ceremonies, for final judg- 
ment. His decision was: 

(1) That the Gothic chasuble was improper 
and must be discontinued. 

(2) That all chasubles must conform to the 
Roman pattern. 

This verdict was given in 1859, and it was not 
recorded till 1888. Meanwhile, in 1863, Cardinal 
Patrizi, the Prefect of the Congregation, on in- 
formation that the decision was unacceptable to 
many bishops, because the Gothic chasuble had 
been a favorite vestment for many centuries, 
sent a letter to the Cardinal archbishop of 
Mechlin in which the verdict of 1859 was held in 
abeyance, and the bishops were invited to com- 
municate to Rome the reasons for the introduction 
of the Gothic chasuble in their respective dioceses. 
There the matter rests. The reasons were not 
forthcoming, and according to Vander Stappen, 


The Mass and Vestment? 

whilst the decision of Corazza fixes the norma of 
the chasuble, it is not definitive, and the way is 
still open for perhaps a favorable sentence for the 
Gothic type according to the Borromean and 
Gavantus pattern still worn in many churches. 



By a decree of August 23, 1889, prescribing 
the form of chasuble to be worn by missionaries 
of the Latin rite in the East, the Gothic chasuble 
was interdicted, which is interpreted as applicable 
only to the ample chasuble of the Greeks. 

WJiy are Folded Chasubles Rather than 
Dalmatics Worn by Deacon and Sub-deacon in 
Penitential. Seasons ? 

(a) Because the dalmatic was regarded from 
the earliest age as a festal garment, and, therefore, 
unsuited for a function in which the note of 
penance predominated. 

(6) The dalmatic originated in the middle of 
the fourth century and was localized at Rome. 

The Chasuble 477 

It had reached Milan and Aries in the fifth cen- 
tury and the Universal Church only in the ninth. 
This would leave a wide margin of antiquity de- 
void of it. Its place in those years was filled by 
the chasuble worn alike by all ranks of the 
clergy. The use of the chasuble as a substitute 
is an echo of that time — a form of reminiscence 
cherished by the Church. The temporary folds 
or plaits in front suggest the primitive all-encom- 
passing planeta which required to be gathered 
back to leave the arms unimpeded. The present 
form of chasuble does not call for this treatment, 
but the object of it is rather reminiscent than 
practical. Likewise the deacon's assumption of 
the broad stole (stolone) in the active functions 
of the service bespeaks the chasuble rolled up and 
hung over his shoulder like a soldier's great coat, 
and also the impeding inconvenience of the early 

(c) The custom of discarding the dalmatic on 
penitential days began in Rome, and by the 
twelfth century the custom was universal. On 
such days the deacon either had no vestment over 
the alb, or put on instead the so-called planeta 
plicata (folded chasuble) of a dark hue. The 
only exception was Maundy Thursday when 
festal vestments were worn. In early times the 
dalmatic was rarely worn at requiem Masses, and 
it is only since the end of the Middle Ages its use 
has become general in solemn Masses for the dead. 


The Mass and Vestments 

Within Advent and Lent the usage now demands 
either the folded chasuble for deacon and sub- 
deacon or the alb without dalmatic. 

What is the Symbolic Significancy of the 

It is an emblem of charity which clothes the 
soul as the vestment envelops the body. In assum- 
ing the chasuble the celebrant says: "0 Lord, 
who hast said: 'My yoke is sweet and my burden 
light/ grant that I may so carry it as to merit 
Thy grace." 




What was the Original Color of Vestments? 

In the oldest representations of ecclesiastics, to 
which we have access, their vestments were pure 
white ornamented with clavi (stripes); these 
were generally black, though St. Isidore refers to 
purple clavi. Previous to the tenth century, 
colored vestments are discernible in mosaics and 
fresco-paintings, but the combination of colors 
is so peculiar as to suggest a color-effect of 
artists to distinguish the various vestments from 
the background, and from each other. Benedict 
XIV, however, whilst affirming that vestments 
were white down to the beginning of the fourth 
century, also says that in that and succeeding 
centuries the practice developed of using a di- 
versity of colors, as is demonstrated in monuments 
earlier than the seventh century. 

\fyho First Mentions Colored Vestment*? 
Pope Innocent III in the thirteenth century. 

How many Colors were in Vogue in his 

Four: White, red, black and green. Violet is 
omitted, but must have been introduced soon after, 
as Durandus (1280) makes special mention of it. 

t8< The Mass and Vestments 

How many Color* are Prescribed Now' 
Five: White, red, green, violet and black. 

Are there any Supplementary Color*' 

Rose-colored vestments are permitted on the 
third Sunday of Advent and the fourth of Lent, 
because then the prevailing penitential supplica- 
tion of chant and prayer in the Liturgy is relaxed 
and a more joyous tone assumed. 

Blue vestments by special Papal grant are al- 
lowed in the dioceses of Spain on the feast and 
during the octave of the Immaculate Conception, 
and on all Saturdays when a votive Mass of the 
Blessed Virgin is permitted. On all those days 
the use of the blue vestments is of obligation. In 
all other countries, they are absolutely forbidden, 
and to emphasize this prohibition, the decree 
granting the privilege to Spain is expunged from 
the recent edition of Decrees, not because the 
Spanish privilege is revoked, but to offset and 
frustrate the hope of obtaining a similar permis- 
sion for any other local diocese. 

Yellow vestments, as a rule, are forbidden 
whether of silk, brocade, wool or linen. 

By a decree, however, of December 6, 1868, 
vestments of gold cloth are allowed and may be 
substituted for all other colors, except violet and 
black. This concession also applies to a yellow 
vestment partly woven of gold thread, but does 
not include the gold imitation. 

Color of Vestments 481 

What is the Prescribed Color oj the Amice, 
Alb and Cincture? 

White for the amice and alb. The cincture 
may conform to the color of the vestments. 

What is the Obligation of the Rubric Relatm 
to the Color of Vestments? 

It is a precept of grave obligation. Rubricists 
agree, however, that prescinding scandal, there 
may exist circumstances where the rubric would 
not be compelling, as for example, the poverty of 
a church, and so great a demand made by officiat- 
ing priests as to exhaust the appropriate colors. 

What is the Symbolism of Vestment Colors? 

White signifies purity and innocency of life— 
also glory and joy. 

Red typifies fervor of spirit and charity, 
because the Holy Ghost descended upon the 
Apostles in fiery tongues — also blood shed for 
charity and faith. 

Green bespeaks hope. As pilgrims and soldiers 
we walk through a weary life, struggling as we 
walk, and we should not faint on the way because 
we are sustained by Our Lord, who in person hath 
visited us, and by the grace of His Holy Spirit, 
and, therefore, like the living branch whose 
life is renewed, we should journey with an inde- 
structible hope toward our true country. Because 
green holds a mid-place between white, black and 

482 The Mass and Vestments 

red, it is used when there is neither special joy- 
ousness, nor penitential lowliness, nor the pro- 
found sorrow of death. 

Violet symbolizes the crucifixion and chastening 
of the body, and is used when the dominant note 
is that of penance and fast, and to denote sorrow 
for sin and hope of pardon. 

Black represents death which robs us of the 
light of life and consigns us to the darkness of the 
grave. Its use voices our grief at the death of our 
Redeemer on Good Friday, and of His creatures 
whilst they are detained in Purgatory. 

When are these various Colors Used? 

White from the Nativity to the octave of 
Epiphany and from Holy Saturday to the vigil of 
Pentecost, in the Office and Feast of the Blessed 
Sacrament, in the Mass of Holy Saturday, on all 
feasts of Our Blessed Lord, except Good Friday, 
of the Blessed Virgin, of the Angels, of the 
Nativity of John the Baptist, of Pontiffs, Con- 
fessors, Doctors, Virgins who are not martyrs, 
holy women who are neither virgins nor martyrs 
and on the feast of All Saints. 

As exceptions to the general use of white, it is 
also the rubrical color on the feast of the Chair of 
St. Peter, at Rome, January 18, of the Chair of St. 
Peter at Antioch, January 22, St. Peter in Chains, 
August 1, Conversion of St. Paul, January 25, St. 
John, Apostle and Evangelist, December 27, al- 

Color of Vestments 483 

though red is prescribed for the feast of St. John 
before the Latin Gate, May 6. 

Red on feasts of the Holy Ghost, of Apostles, 
martyrs, male or female, the Beheading of John 
the Baptist, and on the day of the octave of the 
Holy Innocents. 

Violet in Advent, from Septuagesima Sunday 
through Lent, until the Office of Holy Saturday 
before the Mass, and on the feast of the Holy 
Innocents, when it does not fall on Sunday. 

Green on the Sundays from the octave of 
Epiphany to Septuagesima, and from the octave 
of Pentecost to Advent, when a feast of a higher 
rank of another color does not intervene. 

Black on Good Friday, and in all the Offices and 
Masses for the dead. 



When the Pope officiates solemnly, besides the 
Episcopal and Archiepiscopal vestments, he wears 
the Succinctorium, a maniple-shaped garment 
worn on his left side, and the fanone, a striped 
silk tippet. 

He is attended by a Greek and Latin deacon and 
sub-deacon, and the Epistle and Gospel are sung 
in Latin and Greek. As he proceeds to the altar 
he is met by the three youngest Cardinal priests, 
whom he embraces in memory of Christ's first 
interview with His disciples after the Resurrection. 
He receives of the chalice through a golden tube, 
as also the deacon and sub-deacon from the same 
chalice, the deacon standing and through the tube, 
the sub-deacon kneeling and from the chalice 
direct. The sub-deacon then purifies the chalice 
and the tube, and in the meantime the Pope re- 
ceives the ablutions in another chalice offered him 
by the senior Cardinal priest, finishes the Mass, 
venerates the relics, and in the Papal days blessed 
the people assembled in the great square of St. 

The tube was an ordinary accompaniment of 
the chalice when the laity received Communion 




under both species to prevent even accidental ir- 
reverence. It was called tube, calamus, fistula, 
canna, virgula, siphon and pugillaris. 

The Tiara— thus 
named in French, 
Italian, Latin and 
Greek as designa- 
ting a Persian head- 
dress — is the triple 
Papal crown worn 
for the first time 
by the Popes dur- 
ing their residence 
at Avignon. The 
monument of Bene- 
dict XII (1334- 
1342) in the Ca- 
thedral of Avignon 
represents the Pope 
with a tiara or triple 
crown and this is its earliest appearance. It is a 
three-fold crown because it bears an historic, 
mystic and doctrinal significancy. The Popes in 
exile at Avignon emphasized by the tiara their 
sovereignty as supreme pontiffs, kings of Rome 
and bestowers of the imperial dignity. 

Sirleti says it is a memorial of the crowns given 
the Roman Pontiffs by Constantine, Clovis and 
Charlemagne. John XXII interprets it as ex- 


486 The Mass and Vestments 

hibiting the power of the Popes over the Church 
militant, suffering and triumphant. Theologians 
define it as a symbol of three-fold authority, 
doctrinal, sacramental and pastoral, or the Papal 
power as derived from a triple source, knowledge, 
authority and influence. 

Others explain it as symbolic of the triple mis- 
sion of Christ: Prophet, Priest and Pastor. The 
tiara is worn in processions, but always gives place 
to the mitre in functions purely spintual. 


The most conspicuous among the cardinal's 
insignia is the red hat — a broad-brimmed, low- 
crowned hat, the peculiar appanage of the cardi- 
nalate as a crown is of royalty. Its purpose is 
typical and suggestive rather than practical. It is 
never donned save at the moment of investiture. 
After death it is suspended over the tomb as that 
of Richelieu in the Sorbonne, Paris, or in the titu- 
lar church of the cardinal. A survey of the ceil- 
ing of these churches will bring into view high in 
air the dust-covered and once coveted red hat of 
its departed wearer. 

It was first worn by the cardinal envoys of the 
Pope. It was granted to the secular cardinals by 
Innocent IV, at the Synod of Lyons in 1245, and 
to the cardinals of religious Orders by Gregory 
XIV in 1591. These latter wear beside the dis- 
tinctive habit of their Order. 

Supplementary Vestments 487 

The red (scarlet) biretta probably granted by 
Paul II (1464-1471) is the ordinary head dress of 
the cardinals. Boniface VIII (1294-1303) gave 
them the right to wear scarlet, particularly a 
scarlet mantle. They also wear a ring with a 
sapphire stone in their own titular church, the 
mitre of damask silk, crosier and pectoral cross. 
A baldachino covers the cardinalitial throne. By 
a decree of May 14, 1905, Pius X permitted cardi- 
nal priests and cardinal deacons to wear every- 
where the pectoral cross, even in presence of the 

During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the 
color of the cardinal's dress is saffron. 


Pallium . 

The early history of the Pallium is involved in 
deep obscurity. There is a wide divergence be- 
tween its classical and ecclesiastical significancy. 
Whilst the toga was the badge of Roman citizen- 
ship, the pallium was at first a distinctive Greek 
mantle, which afterwards evolved into a garment 
representing the cosmopolitan aspect of the 
Empire. It was ordinarily worn over the tunic, 
but the philosophers, to emphasize the simplicity 
of their lives, wore it without a tunic, leaving the 
right shoulder bare. It was so worn by Justin 
Martyr and many of the early Christian teachers. 
Tradition also affirms that it was the dress of 

488 The Mass and Vestments 

Christ and the Apostles which explains the Chris- 
tian preference for it. A suggestion of its import- 
ance is indicated by Tertullian's remarkable trac- 
tate, De Pallio, and also by the fact, that whilst 
the toga is only once represented in the pictures 
of the catacombs, the pallium appears very 
frequently between the second and the fourth 
century, and even long after it had ceased to be 
used actually in common life. 

Like the toga it was a woolen garment, usually 
white and without decorations, except at the four 
corners which were ornamented with tapestry 

It was merely a rectangular piece of cloth, three 
times as long as broad, and wrapped about the 
body in this fashion: One-third hung down in 
front over the left shoulder to the knee and 
enveloped the upper arm; the remaining two- 
thirds was drawn across the back, under the right 
arm and across the front, covering the whole body 
to the ankles, and again thrown over the left 
shoulder where it was fastened with a pin or 
simply thrown over the left fore-arm. 

Of this classical use and material of the pallium 
there is neither controversy nor uncertainty. The 
difficulty begins with the effort to trace the origin 
of the ecclesiastical pallium. Between the ancient 
Greek pallium and the collar worn by Roman 
archbishops there would seem to be nothing in 

Supplementary Vestments 489 

common but the name, And yet the kinship of 
a name may suggest a substantial agreement 
between them. 

Dr. Rock is of the opinion that the original 
pallium was only a shrinkage of the Roman toga 
"dwindling down to a mere broad band," folded 
in the same fashion. Macalister believes it was a 
modification of the Orarium or stole, and seeks its 
origin in the honorable orarium distributed as 
"favors" to the Roman people. Addis and Arnold 
in the Catholic Dictionary conjecture that as the 
garment was tucked around the neck in running 
or other violent exercise, this suggested its present 
liturgic form. Wilpert after a close study of the 
frescoes of the catacombs concludes there was, 
beside the garment, also a pallium-scarf which 
developed into the ecclesiastical pallium, and the evi- 
dence he adduces in confirmation of this theory is 
conclusive enough to create a strong presumption 
of its truth. 

The archiepiscopal pallium is a band of white 
wool worn on the shoulders. Its earliest form is 
shown in the Ravenna mosaics— that of a narrow 
slip of cloth passed over the left shoulder, looped 
loosely around the neck, and then passed over the 
left shoulder again so that the two ends hang 
free, one in front, the other behind. Its next 
evolution was to bring the free end to the middle, 
and knotting it into the lowest point of the loop. 
The final form is that of an oval, with a long tail 


The Mass and Vestments 





pendent representing a capital Y on the front and 
back, and four black crosses worked on the oval 
and one on each pendant. 

It is worn by the Pope and sent by him to 
patriarchs, primates, archbishops and sometimes to 
bishops as a token that they possess the "fullness 
of the Episcopal office." The bishoprics which 
possess this unique privilege as a symbol of honor, 
but not jurisdiction, are Autun, Bamberg, Dol, 
Lucca, Ostia, Pavia and Verona. 

The first certain example of this concession of 
a pallium is the grant made to St. Caesarius of 
Aries by Pope Symmachus in 513. 

Supplementary Vestments 



ANNO 1130. 

On the morning of St. Agnes' day (January 21) 
in each year, two lambs are brought to this Saint's 
church by the Apostolic sub-deacons and delivered 
over to the canons of St. John Lateran. They in 
turn consign them to the charge of the nuns of 
Torre de Specchi, where they are kept and fed. 
When they are shorn, the wool is woven by the 
nuns into pallia. On the eve of the feast of SS. 
Peter and Paul, they are taken to St. Peter's 
church and there blessed, and placed by the sub- 
deacons on the tomb of St. Peter, where they re- 
main over night. They are then enclosed in a 
silver-gilt box to await bestowal on a new arch- 
bishop as coming from the tomb of the Apostle. 


The Mass and Vestment.- 



hood. A band {injula 


The mitre is the headdress worn by bishops, 
abbots and by special distinguished ecclesiastics, 

like protonotaries Apos- 
tolic and, in Spain, by 
the queen's confessors 
and the canons of cer- 
tain churches. The name 
is derived from the 
Greek, Mitros{ a thread). 
A headgear of some sort 
was the distinguishing 
feature of the priest- 
was worn by heathen 
priests, and the Jewish priests wore a cap or tur- 
ban which the Septuagint translates by Mitra 
(mitre) for the cap of the high priest, and, again, 
Kidaris is applied to the head-covering of the 
priests of the second order. The Vulgate follows 
the Septuagint, sometimes using mitra, some- 
times kidaris, and occasionally tiara. 

Menard after a careful research into the ancient 
Liturgies concludes that the mitre was not in use 
prior to the year 1000. Contemporary art bears 
out this statement, and Hefele concurs by writing: 
"It is not till the eleventh century that representa- 
tions of Popes, bishops and abbots with the mitre 
occur; though from that time onwards they are 

Supplementary Vestments 


very numerous." An illuminated picture of St. 
Dunstan in a MS. preserved in the British museum 



is the earliest representation of a bishop's head- 
dress of any liturgic value, and this is of the 
early years of the eleventh century. It shows a 
simple, cloth cap, low and hemispherical, without 
any trace of the mitral cleft, kept in position by 
two ribbons which were knotted at the back of 
the head. The first grant of the Roman mitre 
was from Leo IX to the archbishop of Treves in 
1049, and according to Gavantus the first to an 
abbot was by the crusading Pope, Urban II in 1091. 


The Mass and Vestments 

When the art works of the thirteenth century 
represent for the first time the straight lines and 
sharp point familiar in the Gothic mitre, and those 
of the fourteenth, the Italian mitre with its 
greater height and curved lines, the ribbons of the 
primitive mitre had lost their usefulness and be- 
come mere ornaments, and these infulse or lappets 
were enriched with the best needlework of the 
embroiderer. Plain w T hite linen was the original 
material of the mitre until the twelfth century, to 
be superseded by silk and elaborate decoration in 
the thirteenth. 

Unlike other vestments which are classified by 
their predominant colors, mitres are catalogued by 
the manner of their ornamentation. The mitre 



Supplementary Vestments 


made of white linen or silk, with little or no en- 
richment is a mitra simplex (simple mitre); one 
ornamented richly with embroidery, but without 
precious metals or stones is called a mitra auri- 
frigiata (faint or languid of gold ) , and one in which 
precious metals or stones are employed in its 
decoration, a mitra pretiosa (precious mitre). 
The Ceremonial of Bishops appoints the times 
when these different mitres are to be worn. 



It is derived from the Italian zuccha (a gourd) 
and is a closely-fitting skull-cap, 
saucer-shaped, in color red, 
violet or black, suitable to the 
rank of the wearer. Originally 
introduced to protect the crown 
of the head bared by the tonsure, it is now worn 
oblivious of that need. It is called also Calotte 
(shell), Pileolus (small cap), Birretino (Biretta), 
and Submitrale, because worn under the bishop's 

Unlike the Biretta, or ordinary head-covering, 
the zucchetto may, by per- 
mission, be worn from the 
beginning of the Mass to the 

Preface, exclusive, and from 
the Communion to the end — 
never, however, during the 
Canon. It is red for cardinals, 


496 The Mass and Vestments 

purple for patriarchs, archbishops and bishops, 
and black for priests. The privilege of wearing a 
purple zucchetto was not shared by bishops until 
June, 1867, when it was granted by Pius IX. 

Pectoral Cross. 

The pectoral cross is a small cross of precious 
metal worn on the breast by bishops, abbots and 
specially designated canons and 
prelates. As an official ornament 
it is comparatively of late intro- 
duction. It first appears in the 
writings of Innocent III (1161- 
1216) and Durandus, and seems 
to have been then exclusively a 
papal possession. Dr. Rock has 
been unable to find any trace of 
the pectoral cross appearing on 
the breast of an ordinary bishop 
before the sixteenth century. Some writers are of 
opinion that the pectoral cross was originally a 
reliquary, and in this connection it is in accordance 
with the facts to maintain that it serves the same 
purpose now, in addition to its character as a dis- 
tinct Episcopal insignia. In reference to the relic 
of the true Cross contained in the pectoral cross, 
the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, by order of Leo XIII, 
in a letter to all the bishops bearing date March 
25, 1889, reminds them that since these relics 
may become exhausted, the pectoral cross of a 


Supplementary Vestments 


deceased bishop is to be transmitted to his successor 
as his lawful heir, and the proper authorities of the 
vacant See are instructed to execute this injunction. 

Tunic and Dalmatic 

These will be described later as sacerdotal vest- 
ments. It is merely necessary to say here that 
they are worn by the bishop because he possesses 
the plentitude of the priesthood and is entitled to 
wear the distinctive vestments of every rank of 
the sacred ministry. 


St. Isidore says'the pastoral staff was given to 
a bishop, "that he may rule or 
correct those set under him, or 
support the weakness of the 

It had a prototype among the 
insignia of the heathen priest- 
hood of the Hittites and Baby- 
lonians, and one of the emblems 
of the Roman augurs was a lituus 
or crook, with which they divided 
the sky into regions for astro- 
nomical purposes. Whether by 
accident or design the earliest 
pastoral staves, as seen in the be- 
ginnings of Christian art, bear 
an exact resemblance to this 
augurial crook, being much 



The Mass and \estments 

shorter than the medieval crozier. This re- 
semblance has suggested to some the theory that 
the pastoral staff was merely a Christian adapta- 
tion of this pagan implement. 

Other writers argue in 
favor of the crozier being 
simply the decorated and 
specialized heir of the com- 
mon walking-sticks used in 
churches as a support before 
the introduction of seats, a 
conjecture devoid of evi- 
dential value for the reason 
that the pastoral staff had 
been installed among Episco- 
pal insignia before the disap- 
pearance of these crutches. 
The letter of Pope Celestine 
(423-432) to the bishops of 
Narbonne and Vienne is the 
earliest available reference 
to the use of the pastoral staff by bishops, thus 
establishing it as one of the very primitive ex- 
ternal symbols of authority adopted by the 
Church. It was earned by abbots, abbesses, 
bishops and by the Pope until about the tenth 
century, when the culmination of his temporal 
sovereignty and the affirmation and acceptance 
of his jurisdiction over the universal Church 
effected the laying aside of an emblem which was 


Supplementary Vestments 499 

associated with a local spiritual pastorate. In- 
nocent III explains farther by saying that "the 
blessed St. Peter sent his staff to Eucharius, the 
first bishop of Treves, which staff is preserved 
with great reverence in its cathedral," and St. 
Thomas Aquinas confirms this tradition ( Senten. 
IV, quest. 3, art. 3) when he records that for 
this reason the Pope carries the pastoral staff 
when pontificating in Treves. 

In the beginning, the crozier was a rod of wood 
with a head crutched or crooked, usually of one of 
the precious metals. There is not always uniform- 
ity in the shape of the head: knobs, crooks, Y shapes 
and the inverted U form of the Irish staff meet us 
in a bewildering medley. As late as the eleventh 
century the tau-shaped crozier appears on many 

After that period the crook-headed staff is the 
only form in which it is found. The material was 
cedar, cypress or ebony. This wood was often 
gilt, or overlaid with silver plates. In the twelfth 
centurv the staff was shod with iron and sur- 
mounted with a knob of crystal, above which the 
crook of carved work was attached. Suspended 
to the top of the staff was a streamer or napkin, 
sometimes called pannisellum (a small silk veil) 
like the lappet of the mitre, injula (fillet). Its 
primitive use was to serve as a covering to keep 
the moisture of the hand from tarnishing the 
metal of the staff. Some abbots still retain this 


The Mass and Vestments 

appendage to their croziers. According to present 
usage the material is not prescribed, although the 
metal crozier is in almost universal favor. 

Whilst the popular conception of the crozier 
allies it, by an inaccurate etymological analogy, 
with the word cross, the true derivation identifies 
it with such words as our crotchet and crook. 
Its symbolism with a shepherd's staff is the pre- 
vailing interpretation of its form now, as it has been 
with the medieval mystics, although Honorius finds 
its prototype in the staff of the Lord's instruction 
to the Apostles, "take nothing save a staff only." 

Tradition thus inscribed the antique crozier: 
round the crook, "cum iratus Jueris, misericor- 
dise recordaberis," (when thou art angered, for- 
get not mercy); on the ball below the crook, 
"Homo" (man); on the spike of the bottom, 
"Parce" (spare). 


From gremium (the lap), a square knee-covering 

or apron of pre- 
cious material, 
placed on the 
lap of the offi- 
ciating bishop, 
both at Mass 
and the confer- 
ring of Orders 

to prevent the soiling of the vestments from the 

superimposed hands. 


Supplementary Vestments 501 


In Rome of the classical period rings were used 
as insignia of rank, and members of the equestrian 
order wore a ring of special pattern. It is men- 
tioned by St. Isidore of Seville in the Acts of the 
Fourth Council of Toledo, and then it vanishes from 
all the pages of the liturgists of the early medieval 
period until the eleventh and twelfth centuries, 
when Honorius of Autun and Pope Innocent III 
refer to it. On two points is the evidence of the 
monuments decisive: first, that the bishop wore 
many other rings besides the Episcopal ring, they 
probably being ornamental and secular; second, 
that it was worn on the third finger of the right 
hand, and above the second joint of that finger, 
not being passed, as rings are now, down to the 
knuckle. It was kept in place by a plain guard- 

The ring was always a circlet with a precious 
stone, never engraved, ruby, emerald or sapphire, 
and often large enough to pass over the gloved 


These are called chirothecse or manicae, and 
must always be distinguished from the manicce 
brachialia, or sleeves of coarse cloth which the 
bishop drew over his arm to protect the apparels 
of his alb from the water in baptism by immer- 


The Mass and Vestments 

sion. The coldness and cheerlessness 
early churches were responsible for 
them, and their original use was very 
probably to keep the wearer's hands 
warm. About the ninth century they 
began to assume a sacred character, 
and by the twelfth, Honorius is able 
to classify them as vestments. Gloves 
of this period were richly embroidered 
and jewelled, and often a large stone 
appears at the back of each hand. 



The word is derived from the French, the 

French from the low 
Latin rochettus, and 
that again from the old 
High German hroch, 
rooch, identical with the 
modern High German 
Rock (a coat) . It is a 
vestment of linen and 
lace — body linen, lace 
trimming, with close 
sleeves reaching to the 
hands and worn by 
bishops, abbots, canons 
sometimes, and prelates 
of the higher rank. It 


Supplementary Vestments 


is distinguished from the surplice, which it re- 
sembles, by the length and closeness of its sleeves. 
Priests privileged to wear it must consider it a 
choir vestment and cannot wear it in the ad- 
ministration of the sacraments. The mozzetta 
and uncovered rochet are signs of plenary juris- 


From Mozzo, mutilus, (curtailed) 
vestment of velvet or 
silk worn over the 
rochet, buttoned over 
the breast, covering 
the shoulders and with 
a little hood behind. 
It is worn by the Pope, 
cardinals, bishops, ab- 
bots and privileged 
canons like those of 
England. The Pope 
wears five varieties of 
mozzetta and cardinals four 
to the rank of the wearer. 

A short 


Its color conforms 

Cappa Magna. 

This imposing vestment is allied to the Cope. 
The barbarous word cappa from capere (to 
cover) was first used to designate the pluviale 
or cope. It is a vestment of silk or fur (ermine) 


The Mass and Vestments 

according to the sea- 
son, completely en- 
veloping the shoulders 
and bust of the 
wearer and tapering 
behind with an unus- 
ually long, full silk 
train. It is worn by 
cardinals, bishops and 
some canons. 


The stock- 
ings (caligse) 
or buskins 
seem to have 
been originally 
an exclusive Papal 
appropriation, bishops being content with a some- 
what scanty sandal. Ivo of Chartres (1115) is the 
first to mention them as belonging to the Episcopal 
wardrobe. In the Middle ages, they, like some 
other vestments, forsook their primitive simplicity 
and became enriched with elaborate ornamenta- 
tion, to return to it again in our day with the 
plain, unadorned silk stocking. 

Sandals, Slippers. 

The Roman citizen in the early days for foot- 
gear wore mere soles secured across the instep by 


Supplementary Vestments 505 

one or more thongs of leather to protect the feet 
from stony roads. Such a sandal must have been 
worn by the clergy long after the introduction of 
Christianity. It was and still is the only foot- 
covering of certain monastic Orders, and in some 
cases was retained by the monks who had attained 
to Episcopal rank. The extension of the Church 
in the northern and colder regions, and the im- 
portation of foreign customs into Rome itself 
suggested the transformation of the scanty 
sandal into a more appropriate and comfortable 

By a curious contrivance, however, the remem- 
brance of the old fashion was preserved. The upper 
leather of the shoes was fenestrated, or cut into open- 
work patterns through which the flesh tint of the 
bare foot could be seen. The effect was merely 
heightened when the Episcopal stocking was 
added to the bishop's equipment. 

This fenestrated sandal was abandoned about 
the fourteenth century in favor of shoes, very 
much like the modern ankle-shoe. In relinquish- 
ing the decorative effect of the open-work, the 
spirit of the age found a substitute in lavish em- 
broidery and ornamentation with jewels and 
spangles of gold. In this way, the Episcopal 
slipper, to be worn only when pontificating, be- 
came as elaborate as the rest of the ecclesiastical 

506 The Mass and Vestments 


The ordinary head-covering of ecclesiastics, a 
diminutive derivation from birrus (cape or hood) . 

Its present form is that of a 
stiff, square cap with three 
or four prominences rising 
from its crown and a tassel 
pendent, or attached to the 
biretta centre of the crown. Doc- 

tors in theology by right wear the four- 
cornered biretta whilst teaching. By prescription, 
priests in France, Germany and Spain wear the 
three and four-cornered birettas indiscriminately. 
In Italy, however, the three-cornered alone is worn. 

Benedict XIV testifies that in Rome and many 
other places till the ninth century the biretta was 
unknown, as up to that time the head of the 
celebrant in approaching and receding from the 
altar was covered by an amice. At its first intro- 
duction it had two forms as appears from the 
medieval monuments: one, a simple dome-shaped 
skullcap with a point in the centre, worn by uni- 
versity dons. Its present fashion comprising an 
auxiliary of stiff card-board and prominent pro- 
jections was soon adopted as a convenience for 
manipulation and adjustment to the head. The 
material then was a woolen cloth. It may still be 
wool, silk or any proper stuff. 

Supplementary Vestments 507 

In the beginning its color was consonant with 
the ordinary ecclesiastical vestments. Since the 
tenth century when black was prescribed for the 
inferior clergy, the black biretta is the legitimate 

There are four varieties of color now in vogue: 
white, red, purple and black; white for the Pope, 
red for cardinals, purple for bishops and black for 

Since February 3, 1888, by concession of Leo 
XIII, bishops are allowed to wear the purple 
biretta. Prior to that time it was black lined with 
green. Cardinals and bishops may also wear the 
black biretta. 

The biretta is appointed to be worn in the sanctu- 
ary during the less solemn portions of the Mass. 
At the altar, however, the celebrant, be he the 
highest dignitary, is forbidden its use. This 
universal custom is trespassed upon by only one 
exception— that of the catholic missionaries in 
China. This concession is made to the prejudice 
of the Chinese to a head bared in public. Paul V 
(1605-1621) granted to these missionaries the 
privilege of wearing the biretta even at the Con- 
secration of the Mass, with this restriction, that it 
be not the biretta of every day life. 

The older religious Orders discard the biretta 
entirely for the cowl. 

508 The Mass and Vestments 


The cassock, called in French casaque, but 
more commonly soutane, is that long, outer, black 
garment worn by priests in their rectories and at 

all sacred functions. In 
some countries it is also 
a street and travel-worn 
vesture. The members 
of religious Orders call 
it a habit. Formerly it 
was called pellicia or 
pelisse from pellis (skin 
or hide), because some- 
times it was made of the 
skins of animals, and 
oftener with cloth lined 
with fur. Hence the 
word surplice — some- 
thing worn over a fur-lined garment. 

It was long after the twelfth century before 
the cassock became the exclusive garment of 
clerics, and then only when its place was usurped 
by the more convenient short coat. Prior to this, 
it was the raiment of all alike, clergy, laity, male 
and female. 

Because it was intended for warmth it was 
lined with furs. This custom was retained long 
after its adoption as a clerical garment. The fur 
was ermine for dignitaries and sheep-skin for 


Supplementary Vestments 


The color of the Pope's cassock is white; cardi- 
nals' red and violet; of bishops, violet and black, 
red-trimmed; of prelates, same as bishops; of 
secular priests, black; of doctors in theology and 
canon law, scarlet; of Camaldolese, Cistercians, 
Carthusians and Dominicans, white; of Sylves- 
trians, dark blue; of Jeromite, gray; of Minor 
Conventuals and Minor Observants, ash colored; 
of Franciscans, brown. 

When a monk is elevated to a prelacy or cardi- 
nalate he still retains in his cassock the color of 
his religious habit. 

The peculiar wings of some students' cassocks 
on the continent are interpreted as the leading 
strings whereby tutors kept their pupils under 
control, a fashion once in vogue in Rome. 


From its fur lin- 
ing the cassock was 
called in medieval 
Latin the pellicia; 
the name super- 
pellicia (over the 
fur) was according- k ; ? 
ly given to the gar- 
ment worn imme- 
diately over it — a 
name which has 
passed into "sur- 











a < 

u u 




Supplementary Vestments 511 

In the transitional period, from the fourth to 
the eighth century, the alb was a very large vest- 
ment. Its generous size made the donning of the 
other Mass vestments a difficult operation, and for 
this reason its proportions were curtailed to meet 
the requirements of the new vestments being 
adopted. The modistes went to the other ex- 
treme and produced a vestment which was 
threatened with ruin whenever forced on an ex- 
pansive fur-lined cassock. For this reason a new 
garment was invented, which retained the ampli- 
tude of the old alb without its impeding length, 
and was worn only when no vestment of im- 
portance (except the Cope, which was adaptable) 
was put over it. This was the surplice. Since 
its adoption it has varied much less than other 
vestments in form. It was and is a full vestment 
of white linen entire, or linen trimmed with lace, 
or lace throughout, extending to the knee, and 
less, furnished with full sleeves, sometimes long 
and again short. The medieval surplice had 
often the neck -band embroidered in colored 


Called also cavpa and pluviale (rain coat). It 
is an expansive vestment of silk or other rich 
fabric reaching nearly to the feet, open in front, 
fastened with a brooch or morse, and with a small 
triangular or semicircular cape at the back, the 

S 3 '£ 
ft. "3 £ 








K as 







SJ -7 

Supplementary Vestments 



survival of its primitive hood. It is used by- 
chanters at Vespers and by the celebrant in pro- 
cessions, benedictions, etc., but never in the cele- 
bration of Mass according to the Latin rite. Its 
acceptance as a vestment dates back to the ninth 
century. Before that time it was only an overcoat 
for the clergy in cold or draughty churches, or in 
open-air processions, which necessitated its fur- 
nishment with a hood. This hood having become 


The Mass and Vestments 


superfluous when the almuce dislodged it as a 
special head-gear, it degenerated like so many 
other parts of vestments into a mere ornamental 
appendage and became an embroidered flap. 



It is so called from Dalmatia, the origin of the 
ancient garment. It is a vestment open on each 

Supplementary Vestments 



side, with wide sleeves and marked with two 
stripes. It is worn by deacons and sub-deacons 
at High Mass, processions and benedictions, and by 
bishops under the chasuble when they pontificate 
at Mass. The color should conform to that of the 
chasuble worn by the celebrant. 
As a garment of daily use it was adopted in 


The Mass and Vestments 


Rome at the end of the second century. It was 
then of linen or wool, richly decorated, allied to a 
variety of ungirdled tunic, worn by men to the 
knees, and by women to the ankles. The tunic 
was visible below it, and on the neck and arms, so 
that both garments are readily recognized in 
pictorial representations. 

The earliest monuments which picture the dal- 
matic as the dress of deacons are the mosaics of 

Supplementary Vestments 517 

Ravenna in the middle of the sixth century, and 
their diaconal appropriation was indisputable be- 
fore that date. 

The Liber Pontificalis ascribes to Pope St. Syl- 
vester the regulation that deacons should wear 
the dalmatic in the church. In the life of St. 
Caesarius of Aries it is related that Pope Sym- 
machus (498-509) gave his deacons the privilege 
of wearing the dalmatic, as was the custom in the 
Roman church. This proves, with the reinforce- 
ment of the monuments, that by the sixth century 
the vestment was generally adopted. 



It is also called Tunicella. This is simply a 
small variety of the dalmatic appropriated to the 
use of sub-deacons and bishops. Gavantus says, 
it is like the dalma- 
tic, only a trifle 
smaller. This dis- 
tinction is now 
rarely if ever ob- 
served and the two 
vestments are of 
the same pattern 

as to size and orna- bishop s tunicl 

mentation. It is worn by bishops when pontificat- 
ing, under the dalmatic. 

It appears about 820 as a sub-deacon's vest- 

518 The Mass and Vestment? 

ment, and later as a bishop's garment. In the 
ninth century bishops appear with but one 
vestment, the alb under the chasuble; between the 
ninth and eleventh centuries the dalmatic makes 
its appearance, and it is not till about 1200 that 
we find the tunicle illustrated in paintings and 
effigies of bishops. 

In classic times the tunic was the indoor gar- 
ment of the Roman, of woolen or linen texture, 
always pure white, except in Egypt, and the 
literary references prove that this linen tunic 
was adopted in the ministrations of the Church, 
at least, by the fourth century. 


Appendix 523 

vide p. 24. 

"There is no Church without a Liturgy, nor 
indeed, can there be conveniently, as there is no 
school without a grammar." 

"To know what was generally believed in all 
ages, the way is to consult the Liturgies, not any 
private man's writing." 

Table-talk of John Selden, 
Linguist, Jurist, Statesman, 
p. 68, Edition of 1689. 

vide pp. 34, 62, 66, 146. 

As a sample of the difficulty of gathering cor- 
rect information on Oriental customs we may 
mention the days on which the Greeks celebrate 
according to the triple Liturgy in vogue among 
them. King's "Rites of the Greek Church," pp. 
131-134, and Richard and Giraud's "Bibliotheque 
Sacree" XV, pp. 222-224, give the following classi- 
Liturgy of St. Basil: 

Eve of Christmas. 

Feast of St. Basil, January 1. 

Eve of Epiphany, or Feast of Lights. 

Five Sundays of Lent. 

March 25. Feast of Annunciation. 

Good Friday. 

Holy Saturday. 

524 Appendix 

Liturgy of the Presanctifled: 

W ednesdays and Fridays in Lent. 

Liturgy of St. Chrysostom: 
On all other days. 

C. E. Hammond's "Liturgy Eastern and West- 
ern," pp. 26-29, gives the following summary: 
Liturgy of St. Basil: 

Eve of Christmas. 

Feast of St. Basil. 

Eve of Epiphany. 

Five Lenten Sundays. 

Holy Thursday. 

Holy Saturday. 

Liturgy of the Presanctifled: 

Sundays and Saturdays of Lent. 
March 25. 

Liturgy of St. Chrysostom: 
On all other days. 

The most casual reader will recognize the in- 
accuracies and contradictions of these two lists. 

The correct sequence of these puzzling Liturgies 
seems to be: 
Liturgy of St. Basil: 

Eve of Christmas. 
Feast of St. Basil. 
Eve of Epiphany. 
Five Sundays of Lent. 
Holy Thursday. 
Holy Saturday. 

Appendix 525 

Liturgy of the Presanctined: 

Week days in Lent, except Saturdays. 

Liturgy of St. Chrysostom: 
Palm Sunday. 
Saturdays of Lent. 
March 25. 

All other days not pre-empted by the 
Liturgies of St. Basil and the Pre- 
A Mass of the Presanctined is a Mass where the 
Host consumed has been consecrated in a prior 
Mass, because it has no Consecration of its own. 

The orthodox Greek priest does not celebrate 
every day— only on Sundays and feastdays. 
Uniats imitate the Latin custom. Celebrant and 
altar must be fasting— i. e. altar must not have 
been used by another on the same day. There- 
fore, only one Liturgy or Mass is permissible in a 
Greek orthodox church on any day. The Pre- 
sanctined is usually celebrated on the Wednesdays 
and Fridays in the first six weeks of Lent and in 
Holy Week, except Maundy Thursday and Holy 
Saturday, when the Basilian Liturgy is followed. 
On other days when there is no liturgical service 
extra loaves are consecrated the Sunday preceding. 
These are dipped in the consecrated wine of the 
chalice with a spoon, deposited in another chalice 
and reserved in the tabernacle for Communion. 

The days devoid of service are called aliturgical. 
The statement that it is not found in the dictionary 

526 Appendix 

is incorrect. In the Church of the Latin rite Good 
Friday is an aliturgical, and strictly speaking, so 
is Holy Saturday, as its Mass is of Easter eve and 
in primitive days was only said after midnight at 
the close of Lent and the Easter vigil. 

Very probably in the early Church there were 
many such aliturgicals as in the Greek Church of 
to-day. Mass was offered only on Sundays, on 
the few festivals then recognized and perhaps on 
the anniversaries of martyrs, the bishop officiating 
as chief celebrant and the priests co-celebrating 
with him. 

vide pp. 109-110. 

The essence of the Sacrifice of the Mass. 

The Mass being a sacrifice according to the 
teaching of the Church comprises many elements, 
each of which conveys an idea of sacrifice. The 
chief of these attributes are Consecration, obla- 
tion and Communion. This conjunction and 
variety of parts accounts for the diversity of 
theological opinions in determining the real essence 
of the sacrifice. The Mass being a composite 
function admits a distinction of parts. Some are 
essential and others are integrant or integral 
contributing to the wholeness or entirety of the 
sacrifice. To ascertain the essential it is impera- 
tive to sift it from the merely integral. 

Appendix 527 

Hence there are two questions: 

(a) In what action of the Mass does the 
essential element of sacrifice repose? 

(6) How is this essential element of sacrifice 

The answer to the first question is triple. 

(1) The answer of the Thomists (John a S. 
Thoma, Dis. p. 32, a. 1). They taught that the 
essence of the Eucharistic sacrifice is to be sought 
in those actions of the celebrant which follow 
Consecration, viz: The oblation made in these 
words of the Canon, "unde et memores Domine 
* * * off'erimus praeclarae Majestati tuae * * * 
Hostiam puram etc," and the breaking of the 
Host with its mixture with the Blood in the 
chalice, etc. 

(2) Cardinal Bellarmine (De Missa, 1. 1. c. 27) 
insists that the essence of the sacrifice lies in the 
Consecration of the sacred species of bread and 
wine and in the Communion of the priest. De 
Lugo (Disp. 19, Sect. 5, n. 68) gives a qualified 
approval in these words: "The Consecration car- 
ries with it the full equivalent for the destruction 
of the victim, and the Communion pertains to the 
substance and integrity of the sacrifice, because 
thereby the victim is more completely consumed 
and destroyed." 

(3) Other theologians teach that the separate 
Consecration of both species, without any other 

528 Appendix 

adjunct supplies the sufficient essence of the Mass. 
The Communion of the sacrificant is held to be an 
extrinsic sacrificial action completing the sacrifice 
and hence, integral but not essential, for the reason 
that the Mass presents the victim under the species 
in the form of food and drink and, therefore, pre- 
supposes Communion to complete it. 

To the second question there are six answers. 
Whilst it is true that there is practical unanimity 
among theologians in accepting the Consecration 
as embodying the essence of the Mass, there is a 
variety of explanations of this fact. There are 
those who: 

(1) Teach that the Consecration is synonomous 
with the Mass-essence, because in it and by it the 
substance of the bread and wine is destroyed. 

(2) Suarez (Disp. 75, Sect. 5) accepts the same, 
not only because there is a destruction of sub- 
stance, but also because by that destruction Christ's 
Eucharistic presence enters in and begins to exist 
under the visible forms of bread and wine. 

(3) Cardinal De Lugo's solution recognizes 
transformation more than destruction as the 
central idea in Consecration, because by it Christ 
is reduced to a condition of food and drink, which 
is an unspeakably lower state bordering on death 
and exinanition. This is also the opinion of 
Cardinal Franzelin (L. c. Th. XVI) . 

(4) Vasquez recognizes Consecration as the 

Appendix 529 

essence of the sacrifice, because it is a representa- 
tion and commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ 
on the Cross. 

(5) Lessius (De Perfect. Divin. 1. 12. c. 13, n. 
97), Gonet (Manuale, torn. 6, tract 4, c. 12, § 2.) 
and others see in Consecration a mystic slaying 
by separation of the Bod) from the Blood which 
is akin to real death and averted only by accident. 

(6) P. Billot (L. c. th. LIV) reflects the popu- 
lar and truest opinion when Consecration conveys 
to him the mystic destruction of Christ the victim 
under another form, or the sacramental separation 
of the Body from the Blood in such manner that 
Christ under the species of the Eucharist appears 
in the external attitude of death and destruction, 
and thus exhibits that symbolic representation of 
a real sacrifice where the victim is really destroyed 
in its own individual form or species. 

On page 131 is recorded a compendium of the 
usages and privileges of the Maronite Church, ac- 
cording to the available authorities. Having a 
suspicion of its inaccuracy recourse was had to a 
Maronite priest for more accurate information, 
and by his direction the following corrections are 
made: Communion is given only under one 
species, that of bread; incense may be used at 
Low or High Mass— in Syria at both services, but 

530 Appendix 

in foreign missions it is generally absent from Low 
Mass; special services and the more solemn part 
of the Mass are only in Syriac, whilst many missal 
pages are divided between Syriac and Arabic in 
parallel columns. Many collects are read or 
chanted only in Arabic, and the gospel may be 
similarly dealt with, usually, however, in Arabic. 
Only the Greek bishops are elected by popular 
ballot. Among the Maronites there are no bishops 
— only archbishops. On the death of a Patriarch 
these archbishops convene in a retreat of six days, 
after which they vote for the new Patriarch, 
whose name is sent to Rome for confirmation. 
If they fail to nominate, the Pope selects. Instead 
of altars, the Maronites may use wooden slabs, 
because of the capriciousness of Mahometan 
fanaticism, but for fifty years or more the por- 
table altar, linens, etc., akin to the Roman rite are 
also in use. 

The following statistics of the Maronite Church 
may be interesting: Patriarch 1, archbishops 12, 
priests 1400, laity 800,000. 

vide p. 245 (c) 

Ferdinand Tetamus in his Diarium Liturgico — 
Theologico — Morale, Rome, 1894, p. 33, quotes 
Rodriguez (Sum. 1, par. c. 247, n. 6) affirming 
the extension of this privilege of three Masses on 

Appendix 531 

All Souls to non-resident priests with this restric- 
tion, that all Masses in excess of one must be 
offered for All Souls. 

vide p. 323, 

As the statement of the ministering of the Holy 
Eucharist to the dead may be questioned, as it has 
been denied, the reader is referred to Bishop 
Gabriel Albaspini (De Veteribus Eccles. Ritibus, 
Paris, 1623, f. 65) and John Baptist Casalius 
Roman (De Sacris Christianorum Ritibus, Frank- 
furt, 1681, f. 131) for its corroboration. In 
primitive times Catechumens, dying suddenly be- 
fore Baptism, were baptized after death, and public 
Penitents dying before reconciliation were ab- 
solved and given Communion when dead. The 
reason given for the uncanny ceremony was 
that the dead might not remain disjoined from 
the communion of the faithful. These authors 
ascribe the practice to simplicity and superstition 
never endorsed by the Church. Councils of Carth- 
age and Auxerre forbade it and the second of 
Aries authorized a bond of union to be re-estab- 
lished not by Communion after death but by the 
material oblation made at the offertory of the 
Mass by the relatives for that special intention. 


Abyssinians, rite of, 36. 

Adrien II, 132. 

Agiasmos, 46. 

Alb, what other names, 439; 
origin, 440; shape and use, 441; 
clavus, 443; ornamentation, 
material, 445; significancy, 446. 

Albeit Magnus, 118 

Alexander II. 230. 

Alexander VII, 182. 

Alleluia, 295. 

Alms or stipends for Masses, 
origin, reasons for, 210-211; 
names for, 211; opposition to, 
212; present status and reasons 
for, 212; alms and simony, 213; 
Council of Trent prohibits, 215; 
alms and rich priest, 215; 
concelebration, 215; who fixes 
stipend, 216; what factors, 216; 
uniformity of, 217; average 
stipend in U. S., 217; obliga- 
tion of 218-229; how disposed, 
220-226; for one Mass only, 
230; where this originated, 230- 
231; exceptions to, 231. 

Almuce, what, 435. 

Altar, what, material of, 307; 
significancy, 308; requisites of, 
309; various kinds, 309-310; 
portable 310; how forfeit conse- 
cration, 312; dimensions of, 312; 
sepulchre of, 313; where 
sepulchre, 313; relics and incense 
of, 314-315; oriental altars, 
316; canopies of, 319; papal, 
317; privileged, 333; time limit, 
334; origin of privilege, 335; 
fixed altar and privilege, 336; 
personal privilege, 342; Gre- 
gorian, 343; altar cloths, 345; 
significancy of, 346. 

Ambrose, St., 63, 116, 123, 315. 
Ambrosian Liturgy, 37; what, 38; 

general features, 38; use in 

Milan, 39, 63. 

Ambrey, 324. 

Amen, 295. 

Amice, what, other names, use of , 

432; mystical meaning, 434; 

when a vestment, 435. 

Anagnosis, 46. 

Antependium, 347. 

Anthologion, 46. 

Antiphonary, 46, 79, 399. 

Apocalypse, 72. 

Ara coeli, 307. 

Aramaic, 127. 

Architecture, ecclesiastical, 25, 53. 

Armenian rite, what peculiar to 

it, its source, 35. 
Armenian language, where, 133. 
Augustine, St., 24, 116, 315. 

Baptistery, 46. 

Basil, St.. rite of, 36, 62, 130, 

Basilica, what, 55. 
Bell why rung and silent, 385. 
Bellarmine, Cardinal, 117, 119, 

Bellord, Bishop, 89. 
Benedict XIV, 44, 45, 132, 216, 

231, 245. 
Benedictionary, 46. 
Biretta, 506, 

Bona, Cardinal, 69, 187. 
Borromeo,'St., 312. 
Bouvier, 230. 



Bread, how prepared, 205; leaven- 
ed or unleavened, 206, 411, 

Breviary, what, 42; an Epitome, 
parts of, by whom published, 43. 

Bulgarian language, 135. 

Burse, 384. 

Cajetan, Cardinal, 121. 

Calvin, John, 117. 

Candles, why used, 406; material, 

407; exceptions, 408; how many 

for Mass, 410; Consecration 

candle, 411. 
Canon, 298. 

Canopy of altar, 317, 330. 
Cappa Magna, 503. 
Cardinals, red hat and biretta, 


Cards, altar, 404. 

Cassock, 508. 

Catacombs, what, 51, 52. 

Catechumens, how divided, 76. 

Cathedral, what, how divided, 56. 

Celestine, Pope, 24. 

Celsus, 72. 

Celtic Liturgy, 37; what, 40. 

Cemeteries, 48; what, 60. 

Ceremonial of bishops, what, by 
whom published, 45. 

Ceremony, what, 26. 

Cere-cloth, 349. 

Chalcedon, Council of, 133. 

Chaldaic language, 131. 

Chalice, what, material, 352-3; 
various kinds, 354; material of, 
356; exceptions, 356; reasons 
for exceptions, 357; how di- 
vided, 357; parts of, 359; ac- 
companiments, 360; consecra- 
tion of, 362; how lose consecra- 
tion, 364; who may touch, 364. 

Chapel, what, 58. 
Charlemagne, 39. 
Chasuble of St. Peter, 69; chasu- 
ble, what, names for, 464; 
material, origin, 466; first men- 
tion of, 471; when form changed, 
472; Gothic chasuble, 475; why 
folded in Lent, 476; significancy 
of, 478. 

Chrysostom Liturgy, 34, 130, ap- 

Chrysostom, St.. 116. 

Church, derivation, 48; construc- 
tion 49; when dedicated, 50; 
architecture, 53; part of, 54; 
Church, collegiate, parish, 
simple, 57. 

Ciborium, 368; accompaniments 
of, 369. 

Cincture, 436-438. 

Clement VIII, 43, 45,82. 

Clement X, 44. 

Clement, St., 61, 71. 

Clementine Liturgy, 70, 76 

Cloths of altar, 345. 

Cochlear (spoon) 360. 

Collect, 293. 

Comb (pecten) 361. 

Communion, how received, 302- 
304; and of both species, 355; 
exceptions, 356. 

Confiteor, 291. 

Constantine, 78. 

Constantinople, Liturgy of, 7S 

Constitution, apostolic, 70, 76. 

Cope, 511. 

Coptic rite, what, 35. 

Copts, name, religion, liturgy, 
133. 134 

Corporal, 378; characteristics, 378. 

Creed, 296. 

Cross, sign of, 290. 

Cross, pectoral, 496. 



Crozier, origin, when introduced, 
material, name, 497, 500. 

Crucifix, use of, 389; exceptions, 
389; size of, 390; where placed, 
390; history of, 391; decrees 
pertaining to, 394. 

Cruets, 384. 

Crypts, 48; what, 59. 

Custodia, 373. 

Cyprian, St., 323. 

Cyril, St , 35, 62, 116. 

D'Agreda. Mary Venerable, 126. 
Dalmatic, 514. 
Damasus, St. , 70. 
Dawn, meaning of, 251; when 
appear, is it uniform, 251. 

DeLugo. 103, 110, 119, 159, 164, 
166, 172, 182, 183, 184, 186, 
189, 190, 192, 194, 196, 197, 
200 202. 

Diaconicon, 46. 

Dicastillo, 160, 184, 196. 

Disciplina arcani, 75, 124. 

Discipline penitential, 76. 

Diurnal of Popes, 46. 

Diurnal, 46. 

Duchesne, 63. 

Eck. 127. 

Electricity, when legitimate, 409. 

Ephesus, Council of, 132. 

Epistolary. 46. 

Ethiopic language, 134. 

Eucharistic, sacrifice, 92. 

Eucharist, how many parts and 

essentials, 205; how kept in 

tabernacle, 321, 324-328. 
Eucologion, 46. 
Eulogies or sacrifices, who made 

them, 207; how made, 208; 

when cease, 209. 

Eutyches, 133. 

Evangelary, 46, 79, 399. 

Excommunicants, how classified 
as to Mass fruits, 201. 

Fan (flabellum) 361. 
Fanone, 484. 
Feet, covering, 289. 
Felix, Pope, 29. 
Fistula (reed) 360. 
Franzelin, Cardinal, 103, 110, 

Gallican Liturgy, 37; what, 39; 

how differ from Rome, how 

cease, 39. 
Gas, when and where legitimate, 

Geez, language, 36. 
Gelasian sacramentary, 65. 
Gelasius, Pope, 70, 250. 
Genevieve, St., 69. 
Genicot, 309. 
Gloria in Excelsis, 293. 
Gloves, 501. 
Gnostics, 72. 
Gong, 386. 

Gospel, 296; of St. John, 305. 
Gousset, 230. 
Graduale, 46, 295. 
Grail, holy, 352. 
Greek language, 127-129 
Gregory, St., rite of, 36. 
Gregory XIII, 44, 214, 335. 
Gregory. Nazianzen, 69. 
Gregory, Great, 81, 61, 65, 70, 

77, 81, 116, 335, 343. 
Gregorian altar, 343. 
Gremial, 500. 

HisPANO-Gallican Liturgy, 78. 



Holocaust sacrifice, 92. 

Holy Communion, how received, 

Host, elevation, breaking. 300; 

reservation of, 375; among 

Orientals, 377 

Ignatius, Martyr, 116. 

Impetratory sacrifice 92. 

Incense, symbolism of, 387. 

Indulgence and privileged altar, 
337; plenary, what. 338; whence 
derived, 339; can it remit sin, 
339; conditions for. 340; uncer- 
tainty of application, 341; how 
applied, 342; why suffrage. 342. 

Innocent IV., 132. 

Introit, 292. 

Irenaeus, St., 72. 

Ite, missa est, 304. 

Jacobites, who, 133 

James. St., Liturgy of, 36, 131. 

Jerome, St., 69. 

John VIII, 132. 

Julius II, 335. 

Justin, St., 72, 75. 

Kyrie Eleison, 292. 

Lacroix, Mass intention, 199 

Latin, elements of, why used, 32, 

137; where used, 129. 
Layman, theologian, 180. 
Lebanon, Mount, Council of, 216. 
Le Brun, 70, 72. 
Lection ary. 79, 399. 
Legendary, 46. 
Leo, St., 61, 70 

Leo XIII, 24, 41, 83, 132. 231. 
Leonian sacramentary, what, 37. 

Liturgicon, 46. 

Liturgy — Meaning and derivation, 
21; advantages, 23; how it 
affects individuals, society, 
theology, arts, 23,24; its origin. 
25; how differ from Judaism, 26; 
what derived from pagans, 26; 
Church controls, 28; Papal con- 
trol, 29; Liturgy and bishops, 
30; language of. 31; different 
kinds. 34-41; Liturgic books, 
42; Liturgic places, 48; of the 
Mass, 61, 65; Greek St. James, 
62; St. Mark, 62, 78, 125. 

Lunette, 372. 

Malabar liturgy, 62. 

Maniple, what, name of. origin, 
447; use of, how worn, 449; 
development of. 450; in Orient- 
al church, 452; significancy, 

Maronites, 231, appendix 

Martyrology, what, by whom pub- 
lished, and when read, 44. 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 323. 

Mass, first Mass, 69; type of, 72; 
author of 94; what, how Trent 
defines, 95; identity with Cal- 
vary, 96; how differ, 98; how 
death on Cross is represented by 
Consecration 98-99; is it only 
representative, 101-104; who 
the high priest, 105; end of, 
107; to whom offered, 108; 
memorable qualities, 108; is it 
a sacrifice, 109; wherein essence, 
109; moot points of, 110; Old 
and New Testament prove Mass 
to be a sacrifice, 111-115; the 
liturgies also, 115; tradition of. 
115; names of, 123; origin of 
name, 124; what name among 
Greeks, 125; when and by whom 
first Mass, 125-126; its language, 
127; its various names, 138-152; 
Requiem Masses when said, 147- 



151; indulgences of first Mass 
of priest, 152; postures at, 152- 
154; efficacy and fruits of, 156- 
204; fruit ex opere operands et 
ex opere operato, 169; its infi- 
nite efficacy, 170; measure of its 
efficacy, 175-184; its infallibility 
181-192; its application an 
quality, 193-204; Missae Novae, 
224; where may be celebrated, 
232; where offered before Trent 
234; where now. 235; Mass on 
shipboard, 237; in Mortuary 
Chapel, 237; how ofte i daily, 
239; origin of frequent celebra- 
tion, 238; its restraint, 240; 
present law, 241; when two 
Masses, 241; distance and num- 
ber required, 242; how regu- 
lated in United States, 242; ex- 
ceptions to the general law, 244; 
when Mass offered, day, 247; 
Mass, when in Milan and in 
East, 248; what hour in ancient 
church, 249; what hour now, 
250; is there margin, 252; what 
hour in Polar regions, 252; ex- 
ceptions as to hour, 253-258; 
Mass, structure of. 259-287; 
Mass, fast and exceptions, 288- 
289; requisites for, 306; how 
Pope celebrates, 318, 484. 

Melchior Canus, 12. 

Melchite Catholics, 129-131. 

Memorial of rites, 45. 

Menaehon, 47. 

Menologe, 47. 

Missal, what, by whom published, 
42, 81, 82-84, 398; author of, 
399; beginning of , 299; varieties 
of, 401; why varieties, 401; 
further observations, 403 

Mitre, origin, when introduced, 
transformation, how classified, 

Monophysites, 133. 

Mortuary Chapel, Mass in, 237. 

Mostarab, verb, 64. 

Mozarabic Liturgy, 37; what, 39; 

origin and present status, 40, 

63, 64. 
Mozzetta, 503. 

Nestorius, 132. 

octavary, 46. 

Offertory, 297. 

Oil, 331, 411. 

Orarium, 459-460. 

Oratory, what, how divided, 58; 

privileges, 59. 
Ordines Romani, 37, 46, 80. 
Origen, 72. 
Osculatory, 386. 
Ostensorium, 371. 

Pall, 380-381. 

Pallium, early history, what, when 

blest, 487-491. 
Palmer, Sir William, 63. 
Paroissien, 46. 
Paschal I, 335. 
Passional, 46. 
Paten, what, 365; size, why held 

by sub-deacon, 366; material 

of, 367; when lose consecration 

Paul V, 44. 
Pax, the, 301. 
Pelagians, 24. 
Penitential canons, 46. 
Penitents, public, 76, 124. 
Pentecostarion, 47. 
Pepin, King, 39. 
Perrone, S. J.. 100. 
Pius V, 43, 81, 83, 305, 400. 
Pius IX, 41, 231. 
Pius X, 237. 



Pius IV, 400. 

Pontifical, what, by whom pub- 
lished, 45. 

Portable Altar, privilege of 237; 
who have it, 238; Regulars and 
portable altar, 238. 

Preface, 298. 

Presanctified Liturgy, 34, 130 and 

Privileged Altar, 331 
Probst, 70. 
Processional, 46. 
Propitiatory, 92. 
Psalter, 46. 
Purificator, 381-383. 
Pyx, 370. 

Rabanus Maurus, 426. 

Renaudot, 68. 

Ribbons, missal, 398 

Ring, 501. 

Rite, what, 27. 

Ritual, what, by whom published. 

Rochet, 502. 

Roll of Ravenna, 37. 

Roman Liturgy, what, usage, 
documents of, 37. 

Rubrics, meaning, derivation, 
where found, 27; how divided, 
28, 61; derivation, 398. 

Rumanian Language, 135. 

Ruthenian Language, 135. 

Sacramentary, Leonian, Gre- 
gorian, Gelasian, 37, 65, 399. 
Sacred Congregation of rites, 30. 

Sacrifice, what, derivation, 85 
notes of, origin, 86; significa 
tions of, 87; how offered, 88 
what impulses behind, why 
shed blood, 90; ends of, 91 
how many kinds, 92; why fire, 

Sacristies, 48, 60. 

Salamanca, 64, 78. 

Salamanca, Theologians of. 174. 

Salvador, St., chapel of, 64. 

Sanctuary Lamp, 331; decrees for, 
379; oil for, 376, 411. 

Sandals, 504. 
Schanz. Paul, Dr., 89. 
Sepulchre of Altar, 79; what, 
where, 313. 

Sixtus, Pope, 29, 44. 
Slavonic Language, where, 132. 
Stations, what, 56, 421. 
Strabo. Walafridus, 427. 

Stephen II, 39. 
Stockings, 504. 

Stole, what, how worn, 453; why 
worn, 454; how derived, 455; 
its primitive use, 456; its social 
origin, 459; decrees pertaining 
to, 461; in Oriental Church, 
462; symbolic meaning, 463. 

Strainer (colum) 361. 

Suarez, 173, 175, 176, 177, 187, 

190, 202 
Subcingulum, what, 437. 
Surplice, 509. 
Sylvester, Pope, 29, 308. 
Syriac rite, 34; groups of, 35. 
Syro-Chaldaic, 127. 

Tabernacle, name, object of, 
320; position; material, form, 
328; decorations, blessing, 330. 

Tabernacle lamp, 331. 
Tertullian, 72. 
Thabor, 332. 
Thalamus, 324. 
Thomassin, 116. 

Thomas Aquinas, St., 118, 169, 
180, 184, 192, 197, 250, 309. 

Thurible, 387. 



Tiara, when first used and mean- 
ing of, 485. 

Time, how computed, 252. 

Toledo, cathedral, 64, 78. 

Towel, (finger) 384. 

Tract. 295. 

Trent, Council of, 81, 95, 101, 
167, 250, 400. 

Tunic, 517. 

Typicon, 46. or Hosts, what. 208; 

when cease, 209. 
Urban VIII, 42, 43, 44. 

Vasquez, Gabriel, S.J., 100, 10.', 

109, 179, 184, 194, 198. 
Vaughan, Cardinal, 100. 
Veil, 384. 

Verona Manuscript, 38. 
Vesting, 290. 

Vesperal, 350. 

Vestments, study of, two methods, 
424; development, 427; in- 
formation on, 428-431; color of, 
479; supplementary colors, 480; 
meaning of, 481; when used, 
482; supplementary vestments, 

Victor I, Pope, 29. 

Washing of hands, 289. 
Water mixed with wine, 420. 
Wine, how prepared, 205; how 

much alcohol, 206, 417, 419; 

licit and illicit wine, 416. 

Worship, meaning, public, pri- 
vate, 21; motives of, 22; private 
insufficient, 23. 

Ximenhs, Cardinal, 64, 78. 
Zucchetto, 495. 

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